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to wish doctors weren't going on strike

(722 Posts)
MissTriggs Thu 19-Nov-15 14:01:38

After 5 months of misdiagnoses, being sent to the wrong person, explaining why suggestions weren't helpful, holding my GP's hand and fighting to get to the right person I'm now booked in to have the test I need on 2nd December, the day after the strike.

If my test was on 1st December I'd be pretty upset

I then read a post on here from a junior doctor claiming s/he could make more money "as a manager at Greggs" and that tipped me over the edge.

I saw lots of posts from doctors saying they already work weekends but it turns out they get paid extra for this at present.

I think doctors have no idea what it is to work in a job where you can be sacked easily, where you don't know whether work is coming in from day to day, where your employers have no interest in getting you back to work after a career break and where you either have no pension or the value of your pension can fall from year to year and be worth nothing.
I also think they don't realise that, whilst a generation ago doctors might have been unusual in working antisocial hours, nowadays all professionals are expected to be available all the time.

I might be wrong, but I don't think I'm being unreasonable here.

Chillercabinet Thu 19-Nov-15 14:06:29

So, because a lot of people have shit working conditions, everyone should just roll over and accept whatever crap their employers want to throw at them?

VestalVirgin Thu 19-Nov-15 14:14:24

I don't think doctors, nurses, etc, should have to work overtime. It endangers all of us. I do not want to get my appendix taken out by a person that is only held upright by too much coffee.

Don't know about the UK, but in Germany, there's a lack in doctors because they are paid worse than in the neighbouring countries. We just cannot afford that.

While I get that it is shitty to have people with such vital jobs going on strike, it is also very necessary.

brokenmouse Thu 19-Nov-15 14:14:27

If this contract goes through then a large percentage of the current junior (remember "junior" doctors can be in their late 30's) population will not sign the next contract and will leave the NHS, mainly for other countries. I completely understand where you are coming from, and hopefully a strike will be averted, but they are striking to save the NHS. There won't be one otherwise. Don't forget the Jeremy Hunt co-authored a book advising that the NHS be abolished.

MissTriggs Thu 19-Nov-15 14:14:56

It's not "a lot of people", it's everyone in the private sector ie the people who work to earn the money to pay the Doctors' pensions.

Should add: "to have no union...."

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 19-Nov-15 14:15:35


Olecranon Thu 19-Nov-15 14:17:27

I am sure we all wish we did not have to strike to prevent a significant pay cut for junior doctors. It is a professional job with significant responsibility and should be paid accordingly. It is not a race to the bottom. I am sure this is just the start of worsening the already stretched and difficult working conditions in the nhs. YABU

HicDraconis Thu 19-Nov-15 14:17:51

Doctors have always worked antisocial hours. In the past, we didn't get paid for them, or any of the extra hours we worked over and above a 72h week. Of those 72h, we were paid 40h at the hourly rate and 32h at "class three ADH" rates (additional duty hours) - which were one third of hourly rates. Not time and a third, just one third. 90-100+h weeks were the norm.

Doctors fought to get working hours limited for reasons of patient safety and the rates increased so that there was fair remuneration for antisocial hours. Some of the rates were deliberately punitive to the hospitals to reduce the risk of them trying to stretch fewer doctors on to an illegal roster.

The government are trying to remove the working hours limits agreed on for patient safety and pay doctors far less for working more hours, longer days and more antisocial hours.

It's hard enough being a doctor and having a family as it is, if these changes go through it will be nigh on impossible.

I'm not striking - because I moved to NZ when they started dicking about with the NHS. When it's finally been sold off to private corporations (as they have started to do) and you rely on health insurance, or a poorly funded service that you still have to pay to use, you will wish you could go back to the days of having a test that you needed, when you needed it, regardless of your ability to afford it.

MissTriggs Thu 19-Nov-15 14:19:11

But I thought they got a pay rise?

MaidOfStars Thu 19-Nov-15 14:19:38

the people who work to earn the money to pay the Doctors' pensions

Doctors, eh? What are they like? What with the HMRC waiving their tax burden.

Oh wait.

Chillercabinet Thu 19-Nov-15 14:20:18

Um, not everyone in the private sector has poor working conditions. That's a total myth. Obviously it depends on your pay grade but the people who will now be going into law, business etc instead of medicine will get pretty good perks. For example, many private sector employers offer 6-12 months full pay on Mat leave.

Low paid workers get shafted whatever industry they're in.

PS Drs pay their own pensions. In fact, the Drs pension pot is in surplus and contributed to other public sector pensions

expatinscotland Thu 19-Nov-15 14:20:36


HicDraconis Thu 19-Nov-15 14:22:00

Oh dear.

In real terms many of them will get a pay cut - because a hefty chunk of the salary is antisocial hours bonus.

It's easy to say "but they're getting a rise" - when in fact a rise of 10% on basic salary but the removal of the antisocial hours bonus puts the actual take home pay at 30% less.

Chillercabinet Thu 19-Nov-15 14:22:12

They didn't get a pay rise. They got a 30% cut, then an 11% rise. That's Tory mathematics.

TheBunnyOfDoom Thu 19-Nov-15 14:22:57


I don't want to be cared for by a doctor who is so tired they're relying on energy drinks to stay awake. I want a doctor who's well rested and alert so they can do their job and keep me alive!

MissTriggs Thu 19-Nov-15 14:24:31

"Some of the rates were deliberately punitive to the hospitals to reduce the risk of them trying to stretch fewer doctors on to an illegal roster. The government are trying to remove the working hours limits agreed on for patient safety and pay doctors far less for working more hours, longer days and more antisocial hours. "

so a deliberately punitive rate would mean what being paid to a doctor? Is this the pay deal that the Government didn't realise would increase salaries so much? I think I remember this....

FishWithABicycle Thu 19-Nov-15 14:25:04


Everyone is human. Tired and overworked people make mistakes. Most people this doesn't matter too much - maybe an order will be fulfilled incorrectly, a shelf stacked incorrectly or a customer feels unsatisfied.

Airline pilots have limits on how long they can work for because if they get over tired and make a mistake hundreds of people die.

Long distance lorry drivers have limits on how long they can work without a rest stop because if they get overtired and make a mistake dozens of people could die.

Doctors are in the same category. I don't want to be operated on by someone who has worked the kind of hours that the current contract protects against. Protections the new contract is abolishing are there for our protection.

I support the doctor's strike.

PingpongDingDong Thu 19-Nov-15 14:26:02

I totally understand your personal frustration op, having had a long and miserable battle to get treatment for a health problem myself. However I disagree that Junior Drs are wrong to strike and think that their working conditions are very, very tough indeed. They are striking as a last resort and as Hic says, if the govt carry on like this they will have no Drs left and then where will that leave us?

teatowel Thu 19-Nov-15 14:26:50

I was very ill during my 20's and spent a lot of time in hospital. This was before legislation was brought in to limit doctors working hours. Sometimes the junior doctors on the wards were so tired they could hardly string two words together let alone care for patients,. The nurses used to agonise over whether they should get them up again for the 4th 5th 6th time a night knowing they had been working for days and nights before and would be on the ward at 7am the next morning. Hospitals are fined now if they treat junior doctors in this way but Jeremy Hunt wants to get rid of this. Do you want to be treated by a doctor who falls asleep when they sit down on your bed to talk to you as one actually did to me in 1989?

kateclarke Thu 19-Nov-15 14:26:53

Yabu. I'm a nurse and support the doctors 100% this is your NHS they are fighting for , as well as their careers

TheFairyCaravan Thu 19-Nov-15 14:27:41

DH and I were at the vets yesterday. We were looking at the list of charges. I said to DH "that's why we need to save the NHS!" He said "eh?" I said "where would you find £175 if you were ill between 11pm-7am and needed to call the doctor out?"

I doubt very much the doctors want to strike, but if they don't stand up and tell the Govt what they are doing is wrong we won't have an NHS for much longer, and I don't know about you but I can't afford private health care.

MissTriggs Thu 19-Nov-15 14:27:48

the people who will now be going into law, business etc instead of medicine will get pretty good perks

For women, medicine is a far better career than law or business because the NHS allows them to work part time and wants them back after they've had babies.

Chillercabinet Thu 19-Nov-15 14:30:31

Plenty of mothers (and some fathers) will be sufficiently penalised by this contract that they won't be able to afford to work. Childcare at weekends is very expensive. As you say, the NHS can't afford to lose these people.

CountryPlumpkin Thu 19-Nov-15 14:30:31

YABU. Please read the numerous explanations of the issues behind the proposed strike, imagine the working conditions as they are and as they might be if the government gets their way, and then think about whether Drs really are 'overpaid' and just having a winge.

Olecranon Thu 19-Nov-15 14:33:02

I take it you have never actually worked in medicine to realise how difficult it is to look after the babies and work the long irregular hours that is expected of you.

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