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to not support the junior doctors?

(156 Posts)
MenMust Mon 05-Sep-16 20:45:51

just that really. it seems to be about them wanting more pay rather than saving the NHS. am I wrong? feel free to educate me (rather than attacking me!) ....

Pettywoman Mon 05-Sep-16 20:55:00

This, courtesy of FB.

Dear Reader. Here is a very quick guide to answer questions about the junior doctor pay dispute.

1) "The junior doctors are greedy and just want more pay". The junior doctors and the BMA were not insisting on a new contract. The old one works fairly well, but needed to be updated. The goverment are the ones who want to force a new contract through.

2) "They don't want to work weekends". They already do. Most junior doctors have worked every second or third weekend since qualifying. Like most of us, they'd prefer to be paid more at weekends. The new contract basically defines a weekend as 'Sunday evening'.

3) "They're all communist / Trotsky / lefty militants who want to bring down the Government". They're a bunch of A grade graduates who want to help people. In the 1980s, junior doctors didn't strike over 100+ hour weeks. In the 2000s, junior doctors didn't strike over the career-destroying MMC/MTAS. In fact, this is the first series of strikes in 40+ years. Compare this to tube drivers, who strike far more often. Not exactly militant behaviour by the juniors, is it?

4) "They're playing politics with the NHS". They will be losing a quarter of their monthly wages, and may need to repeat their training year as a result of these strikes. Meanwhile, multi-millionaire, Jeremy Hunt could end the industrial action in seconds.

5) "Fewer than half of them voted to strike". Not true. 98% voted to strike. 58% rejected the most recent version of the contract.

6) "The BMA approved the contract. Now they are going back on it!". The contract was a steaming pile of shite. There were very few concessions by the government. By the end of it, a group of junior doctors appointed as spokesmen had been negotiating with politicians for days, and had just about managed to agree on a contract which resembled a steam pile of shite covered in glitter. On trying to sell this to the rank and file members, they failed. The proposed contract should have been flushed away.

7) "But a 7 day NHS sounds a really good idea!" It does. There is currently funding for 5 days of routine and emergency care, and two days of emergency care. The logical way of getting full seven day is to increase funding, so that a full seven day service can be delivered. And to raise taxes to pay for this. The proposed contract does not offer any extra money, aka "Cost neutral". This is at the time that the NHS is having to make £20 billion cuts every year.

8) "They should sack all of the doctors and get new ones in". To create a doctor, you need a motivated A grade student, and 5-6 years of onerous university training. You then need another 5-15 years to term them into a GP or Consultant. Any idea where you are going to get 54,000 new people who have those qualifications?

9) "They should just train some more, then". Really? Assuming you have the A grade student, and the £250,000 to train them, how are you gone to persuade them to stay in the UK, or indeed in medicine? There are already massive gaps in medical rotas, sufficient to shut down maternity units in prosperous parts of the UK.

10) "Force them to pay back their training, then!". Erm, this isn't going to work. For starters, no one will go into medicine with that threat over their heads. Secondly, with £9,000 tuition fees per per, are you going to include this? Thirdly, are you going to extend this threat to law, engineering, teaching?

11) "But they swore the Hippocratic Oath!" I don't think any doctors have been asked to swear an oath to a bunch of pagan idols for 20+ years. I've certainly never sworn such an oath. A few medical schools offer a modernised version. But this is entirely optional.

12) "That doctor so and so. Her mum was a militant nurse union leader!" So what? Have you seen Jeremy Hunt's family tree?

13) "The senior doctors are all against them". The Academy of Royal Medical Colleges statement is a curious one. Many of the Royal College heads are saying they didn't agree to it. The head of the Royal College of GPs has released a statement stating that they had nothing to do with it. It is true that some senior doctors disapprove. But certainly not all.

14) "Dr So-and-so came on TV and said he's against the strike. And he's a junior doctor". Google these individuals. And then see if they are registered as a trainee on the GMC website. So far, we've had a failed Tory candidate who is currently out of work, a UKIP member who lives in Scotland, and someone who appears to be a full time locum who isn't listed as a trainee.

15) "Half the public is against them". In a recent ITV poll, 90% of respondents supported the strike. Even if a huge cohort of juniors voted, the poll was too large in total to be influenced.

16) "Patients are going to suffer". On one hand, operations will be postponed if the strike goes ahead. On the other, patients will suffer when the NHS collapses as a result of the new contract. Which is the lesser of two evils?

17) "The Tories crushed the miners. Won't they do the same to the junior doctors?" Look what happened to the mining industry afterwards. Do you want that to happen to the NHS? It would seem that Jeremy Hunt does.

ginpig Mon 05-Sep-16 20:57:15

There is a thread in chat about this.

Junior doctors are not asking for a pay rise. They are asking for a new contract that
- has proper safeguards surrounding the hours they work
- does not see the 5 day workforce spread more thinly over 7 days
- does not adversely affect part time workers and carers (so predominantly women) or those who take time out to do research
- does not cut their pay whilst simultaneously increasing the number of hours they work

WhooooAmI24601 Mon 05-Sep-16 20:59:11

You're entitled to not support them. Everyone's entitled to think what they want. I think you're entirely wrong to not support them.

Flisspaps Mon 05-Sep-16 20:59:14

Yes, YABU.


Pettywoman Mon 05-Sep-16 20:59:22

Another doctor explains.

My (non-medical) family were discussing the strikes today. It made me think. I thought I'd share this with you all:

It's hard to get across in the ins & outs over the media regarding the junior doctor contract, strikes and the NHS as a whole. What you need to know over the last 10 years our pay hasn't increased (therefore decreased vs inflation), and we never grumbled; they took away our free hospital accommodation, we just accepted it (despite it basically resulting in a 30-40% paycut); they made our pension crap, we just stood and took it eventually. So through all these pay and conditions problems we've not caused a fuss. We've always worked weekends and nights and we always will. We aren't grumbling about that either. Because as a collective we are quite apolitical; we have just got on with things. We care about our patients. So this gives you an idea that this contract issue and the strikes aren't motivated by money/greed/laziness.

Over the last 5 years, 50,000 of us who are on the front line day in and day out have become worried. Many colleagues including myself have noticed gaps in rotas i.e there isn't a doctor employed. It has now become the norm to cover this. My first ever job I had three doctors down, I routinely stayed late to ensure everyone was safe before we got home. This has become a norm, it is increasingly unsafe... And we started to get worried, we tried to improve things, but we still didn't strike. We notice that more people are coming to hospital after the cuts to social care and community care (stuff at home and with GP) so that more patients come to hospital, and they tend to be sicker. Furthermore, when they're better we can't get them home because we are waiting for social services. So then there aren't any beds for the sick ones. It's a constant pressure. There aren't enough staff and there isn't enough funding. But we pay less for our healthcare than any western country. Why? Approx 5 years ago we were rated the best health care system in the world for quality, efficiency, value. But now the funding has been cut (which they try to disguise) and this is now not the case. And we still haven't striked.

But then the government come spurting things about how we don't work weekends, that patients are dying because of us ("weekend effect") and that we need to have a '7 day elective service'. That roughly translates as they want you to be able to have a bunion operation on a Sunday night. But no more money and no more staff. It's unsafe now, it will become even more so. If you stretch 5 days worth of people over 7 days it's a no brainier there's not enough people. We need to fix what we've got. So now we are worried, now we are livid, and we need to stop it. They are going to sell us as the reason the NHS is going to fail. We are worried for us all.

I really don't want to strike. I can't afford it, I am concerned for patient safety but I think this is the only thing we can do to prevent the inevitable future harm. 16,000 clinics and operations are likely to be cancelled, but 76,000 operations this year were cancelled purely due to underfunding this year. It's THAT we need to stop.

And you know what... I have been told I am a selfish, greedy, disillusioned child. No I am not. I wish that some people could just see what we do and they'd understand. I know they would! Today I had an extremely hard day, I had to tell a young man he had a disease which was unlikely to be cured. I had to organise tests and make sure his symptoms and pain were controlled. And then I had to have a chat about what would happen if his heart were to stop. But I wanted to do it justice, so I did this: I spent time with him, his family and I missed lunch and I stayed late. I had a wonderfully supportive team with me today - the nurses, porters, radiographers , pharmacists, and allied healthcare workers, and great senior support which made this all possible. And I would gladly do this unpaid every day. But I will not stand for this reckless abuse the government and media hurl at us because if patients don't trust us then we can't treat them. I was in a privileged situation of trust today which enabled our team to do everything we could today to treat our patients' needs and best interests. Without that trust, I am afraid.

LagunaBubbles Mon 05-Sep-16 20:59:44

What makes you think that OP?

DiegeticMuch Mon 05-Sep-16 21:03:58

Several of my friends are hospital consultants who support them 100%. That is good enough for me.

harderandharder2breathe Mon 05-Sep-16 21:04:39

I don't support striking tube drivers or train drivers or air traffic controllers

I strongly support the junior doctors

Yabu if you think it's simplistic and just about money. Yabu if you think the doctors care less about the patients and NHS than the tories care

MenMust Mon 05-Sep-16 21:07:28

To be honest, I am sure I am being unreasonable. I'm being lazy. Watching the news on TV I just get the impression that it is about pay rather than saving the NHS. I could do more investigation into this but thought it would be easier just to ask the question on here. sorry.

MenMust Mon 05-Sep-16 21:08:54

Thankyou Pettywoman

Elephantslovetofly Mon 05-Sep-16 21:09:22

And who controls the news? The Tories. They want you to believe it's all about greedy doctors wanting more money

MenMust Mon 05-Sep-16 21:12:12

BBC news is rubbish

Elephantslovetofly Mon 05-Sep-16 21:13:26

That way you don't see what they're really up to - tearing our very precious NHS apart

MenMust Mon 05-Sep-16 21:13:52

NHS do a fantastic job

t4nut Mon 05-Sep-16 21:15:11

Not supporting the doctors is the same as supporting this evil Tory government.

MenMust Mon 05-Sep-16 21:18:09

am sure when they started their austerity measures they said they werent going to make cuts to the NHS?!

mycatwantstokillme1 Mon 05-Sep-16 21:18:34

I support striking tube drivers or train drivers or air traffic controllers
because they're striking for better pay and conditions, and better health and safety for them and us. Same as the Junior Doctors!

bearleftmonkeyright Mon 05-Sep-16 21:18:42

I think BBC have been pretty shocking as to how they've covered this. I saw Jeremy Hunt and another person from the NHS saying how terrible it is but no one from the BMA. It doesn't surprise me that the general public think that this is just about pay. I fully support the strike.

Cococrumble Mon 05-Sep-16 21:20:23

I strongly support the doctors. They are on the front line and I highly doubt they would be taking this action unnecessarily. It's ridiculous how the government is treating the people who have lives in their hands. All the junior doctors I know are looking at moving abroad to places such as NZ as morale is so low and conditions are shocking.

We should be supporting them, as they support us. I owe the NHS my life and there's not a day that goes by that I'm not extremely grateful for the care and treatment I received at the hands of the medical professionals who are now being monumentally screwed over.

Piscivorus Mon 05-Sep-16 21:20:34

You are entitled to agree or disagree OP, whichever you fancy but please do read about it and make sure you have the facts you need to make that decision and don't just rely on one source.

I work in the NHS, am not a doctor and do not have any great love for the BMA as my understanding is that they have refused to help other professions (who often earn a lot less to start off with) when they have been screwed over yet claim we're all in it together when it is them, yet even I support them on this. Junior doctors are not as junior as the title implies, they often have homes, families, mortgages and all sorts of commitments which would be jeopardised by the pay cuts Hunt wants to impose.

The biggest thing for me is that the NHS is struggling to start with, being told to make huge savings and now told to extend the service from 5 days to 7 with no extra funding at all. It doesn't take a genius to see that won't work. My concern is that things will be made so shit that privatisation will seem preferable to the public and I believe we do all have to stand against that

MrsMulder Mon 05-Sep-16 21:22:15

More pay? They are asking for their pay to not be cut by a third and work longer, more gruelling hours for less money! If it is brought in, there will be less doctors, increased waiting times, the nhs will crumble and Jeremy's mates will be on hand to 'help' by privatising it!

HeddaLettuce Mon 05-Sep-16 21:22:37

Why shouldn't it be about their pay, when they deserve more pay? Do you think they've trained for years and worked endless hours to save your NHS and work for fuck all?
What are YOU doing to save the NHS?

georgethecat Mon 05-Sep-16 21:23:47

Genocide of the poor/vulnerable quite simply.

colouringinagain Mon 05-Sep-16 21:24:37


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