12/01/2016

Junior Doctors Strike for the First Time in 40 Years 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
As the dust settles this evening in the midst of the first junior doctor strike in forty years, people around the country will become aware – perhaps for the first time – of the two year dispute that has accumulated in such radical action.
 
Jeremy Hunt has demanded the NHS works harder for longer. Forget the overworked doctors, the overstretched resources and the understaffed services; Hunt will stop at nothing to achieve his ‘seven-day NHS’. Throwing the BMA’s negotiations aside, Hunt has left junior doctors with no other option other than industrial action.
 
The public response has been largely positive. One gentleman supporting the strike at UCLH described how “avoiding privatisation is the long-term goal but patient care is the priority. The government will have to back down eventually”.
 
As you might expect, there is much speculation about the government’s response. Dr Thomas-Black, junior doctor at the Whittington, envisages “slanderous reports, further demonising junior doctors”. He added that a seven-day NHS is a possibility provided they are given the staff, that being all healthcare staff, and the resources.
 
Therefore it seems that Hunt’s seven-day NHS is not the problem, but merely the destructive manner with which he has set about achieving it, as well as the lack of staff and resources being devoted to making it fair for all those involved.
 
Joe Hearle, MBBS Year 2, Online Editor