Doctors’ strike “disappointing” says Jeremy Hunt

Doctors protest during last month's walkout. Pic: Jungho Choi

Doctors protest during last month’s walkout. Pic: Jungho Choi

Junior doctors have come in for more criticism by the health secretary Jeremy Hunt over their second scheduled 24-hour walk out which is set to go ahead next Wednesday February 10.

Croydon University hospital, University Hospital Lewisham, Mile End hospital, the Royal London and Homerton hospital in Hackney are all expected to experience disruption. Accident and Emergency, intensive care and maternity services will not however be affected, the BMA said.

Talks to avert a second strike between the British Medical Association and the Government broke down yesterday, Monday February 1.

In a letter to Dr Mark Porter, council chair of the BMA, Hunt said: “I am disappointed to learn that the BMA will proceed with strike action for 24 hours from the 10 February, which will inevitably cause disruption for patients and see procedures cancelled.”

Hunt continued: “The Government and NHS employers made a significant offer on the extent of plain time and stood ready to discuss these matters. It is very disappointing that the BMA felt unable to negotiate.”

Junior doctors are striking over proposed changes to their pay and working hours. Last month, January 12 saw junior doctors walk out from hospitals across London as part of a nationwide strike.

BMA junior doctors committee chair Johann Malawana said: “The Government’s entrenched position in refusing to recognise Saturday working as unsocial hours, together with its continued threat to impose a contract so fiercely resisted by junior doctors across England, leaves us with no alternative but to continue with industrial action.”

He added: “It is, therefore, particularly frustrating that the Government is still digging in its heels.”

East London Lines will be at the picket lines of our local hospitals in Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Lewisham and Croydon next week to bring you the latest reaction from the doctors and patients affected by the walk out. @eastlondonlines






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