ABSOLUTE CHAOS! – doctors training crisis continues

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Junior doctors from Remedy UK outside the High Court yesterday before the start of their judicial review over ‘MTAS’
Junior doctors from Remedy UK outside the High Court yesterday before the start of their judicial review over ‘MTAS’

JUNIOR doctors went to the High Court yesterday in a bid to get the online Medical Training Application Service (MTAS) ruled ‘unlawful’, warning that the NHS is facing ‘absolute chaos’ because of the new system.

Despite a retreat by Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt when she announced that ‘the MTAS system will not be used for matching candidates to training posts’ on the eve of the judicial review, junior doctors said the new process for awarding training places to doctors ‘is still continuing’.

‘All the unfairness that was created is still in place and is still being propagated,’ said junior doctor Damien Moult, from Remedy UK, before the case began.‘All the unfairness that was created is still in place and is still being propagated,’ said junior doctor Damien Moult, from Remedy UK, before the case began.

MTAS is part of the government’s ‘reform’ of doctors’ training, known as ‘Modernising Medical Careers’ (MMC).

Dr Moult told News Line: ‘Everything we’ve heard from Hewitt so far has been a recyling of the same excuses she’s made time after time.’

Dr Judy King, also from Remedy, said the government’s reforms ‘have been rushed to the detriment of the medical profession and the NHS.

‘Doctors are used to competition for posts, but the selection system here is entirely flawed and desperately unfair.’

Dr Tim Nedas said: ‘I think what Hewitt said is a smokescreen.

‘We’ve known for at least three weeks that the MTAS system wasn’t working and all they’re doing at the moment is running it on paper, which is even more unsatisfactory.’

Dr Matt Jameson-Evans, one of the leaders of Remedy, said: ‘It’s a move to centralise and de-professionalise the medical profession and the computer system has been an absolute failure.

‘We’re calling for the 10,000-15,000 doctors who will be excluded from training in their specialty in the future not to be wasted.

‘We want a fair opportunity in a fair system for all doctors. We want to stop an exodus of doctors out of the country.

‘I think the NHS has to fight for its survival and that’s what we’re here for.’

Dr Matt Shaw said: ‘It’s all about de-professionalising all the professions in the NHS.

‘Actually the only advocates you’ve got for patients are doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and all the other professionals in the NHS.’

Dr Jameson-Evans said: ‘What’s happening this month is absolute chaos the Secretary of State has actually made things worse.

‘Patricia Hewitt yesterday said the August changeover had always been in place. I fail to see how that can be true. All the junior doctors have never been changed over on the same day of the year.’

Dr Andrew Rowland, vice chairman of the BMA Junior Doctors Committee, said: ‘The Department of Health has at last seen sense and effectively abandoned the unfair, discredited, and shambolic MTAS system.’

However he added: ‘The Health Secretary is wrong to say that there are 23,000 training posts available in the UK. Thirty-four thousand doctors have applied for around 18,500 posts – which is 4,500 fewer jobs than she claims.’  

 

MTAS is part of the government’s ‘reform’ of doctors’ training, known as ‘Modernising Medical Careers’ (MMC).

Dr Moult told News Line: ‘Everything we’ve heard from Hewitt so far has been a recyling of the same excuses she’s made time after time.’

Dr Judy King, also from Remedy, said the government’s reforms ‘have been rushed to the detriment of the medical profession and the NHS.

‘Doctors are used to competition for posts, but the selection system here is entirely flawed and desperately unfair.’

Dr Tim Nedas said: ‘I think what Hewitt said is a smokescreen.

‘We’ve known for at least three weeks that the MTAS system wasn’t working and all they’re doing at the moment is running it on paper, which is even more unsatisfactory.’

Dr Matt Jameson-Evans, one of the leaders of Remedy, said: ‘It’s a move to centralise and de-professionalise the medical profession and the computer system has been an absolute failure.

‘We’re calling for the 10,000-15,000 doctors who will be excluded from training in their specialty in the future not to be wasted.

‘We want a fair opportunity in a fair system for all doctors. We want to stop an exodus of doctors out of the country.

‘I think the NHS has to fight for its survival and that’s what we’re here for.’

Dr Matt Shaw said: ‘It’s all about de-professionalising all the professions in the NHS.

‘Actually the only advocates you’ve got for patients are doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and all the other professionals in the NHS.’

Dr Jameson-Evans said: ‘What’s happening this month is absolute chaos the Secretary of State has actually made things worse.

‘Patricia Hewitt yesterday said the August changeover had always been in place. I fail to see how that can be true. All the junior doctors have never been changed over on the same day of the year.’

Dr Andrew Rowland, vice chairman of the BMA Junior Doctors Committee, said: ‘The Department of Health has at last seen sense and effectively abandoned the unfair, discredited, and shambolic MTAS system.’

However he added: ‘The Health Secretary is wrong to say that there are 23,000 training posts available in the UK. Thirty-four thousand doctors have applied for around 18,500 posts – which is 4,500 fewer jobs than she claims.’