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Ministers are “looking to impose doctor contract”

7 July 2016

Ministers are “looking to impose doctor contract”

Subsequently to the rejection of the deal between the union negotiators and the government ministers are now trying to find a way to enact a contract on junior doctors in England.

British Medical Association members voted 58% to 42% against the deal.

BMA directors have advised members to accept the new terms, which were publicized in May after six separate strikes.

Officials are measuring the position of the government but it is thought to be a formality rather than a precaution because of an equality impact assessment already processed.

In the upcoming days' there is expected to be an announcement.

Johann Malawana, a BMA junior doctor, resigned soon after the result confirmation.

In a letter to members, Dr Malawana said the NHS was lurching "headlong into a wider crisis" that was of the government's making.

"I only hope that the next government realises that this vote is a demonstration of just how appalling frontline staff have been treated and undermined."

It will be the next junior doctor leader to make the decision on what steps to take next as the BMA still has a mandate to strike.

Senior members at the BMA had specified, ahead of the result, that there was very little interest for extending the quarrel given the climate in the UK following the EU vote.

During the vote, the government has been progressing with an introduction of the contract. In August 6,00 new rotas are due to begin as a new pay system is supposed to start later this year.

Subsequently, the remaining 55,000 junior doctors are to be moved onto the new contract from then on.

Dr Silman, who is part of the campaign group Justice for Health, said: "Moving forward, the government must now acknowledge that it is not possible to provide a seven-day NHS without extra staff and funding.

"That it is not possible to create a contract that doctors feel is safe, by stretching the current workforce."

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he was seeking to make a "rapid decision".

"People in the NHS do need to know where they stand and patients who use the NHS need to know if whether we are going to proceed with our manifesto commitment for a seven-day service."

Over 54,000 BMA members were able to vote, both medical students and junior doctors in their final two years of their studies.

Labour shadow health secretary Diane Abbott said: "Today is yet another sorry episode in the saga of the government's mishandled negotiations with junior doctors."

Katherine Murphy, of the Patients Association, added: "There have been no winners in this ongoing dispute, instead it's patients who have been the losers."

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