MORE than 100 demonstrators were outside 10 Downing Street on Tuesday night to protest against Osborne’s Autumn Statement of £20bn more cuts due the next day.
Yiannis Gourtsoyannis, from the BMA’s National Junior Doctors Committee, called on everyone to mobilise behind the Junior Doctors strike on Tuesday December 1st. He said: ‘We are fighting against a dangerous contract, straight out of the neo-liberal playbook. It dangerously deregulates medicine and is thus a danger to patients as well as staff. It is also the first step in the destruction of the terms and conditions of other health staff across the NHS.
‘The majority of NHS Foundation Trusts are now in deficit. A normal day working on many wards is similar to working in a war zone. A&Es are in crisis, the GP landscape is in crisis. There is a critical shortage of beds. We are seeing delays in ambulance response times. We are seeing more patients, sicker patients, with less resources available to us. And we are also seeing the safety net of the Welfare State being ripped out from under the very feet of our patients, as soon as we try to discharge them from hospital.
‘We are starting to get angry. We are starting to realise that Her Majesty’s Conservative Government has no concern for patients or NHS staff. So, the result of Thursday’s strike ballot signals the beginning of a new insurgency against austerity.
‘A victory for the junior doctors will represent the first real crack in the edifice of austerity in this country. The government knows this and is going to come straight after us. So we are going to need each and everyone of you. So I am here to invite you all to our picket. On 1st December – our first day of industrial action, please come out and support us visibly. We want to rebut the idea that the public is somehow not on our side.
‘All major hospitals in the country and of course in London, will have pickets. Local events are also taking place near to those pickets, mainly at tube station entrances. So please come to University College Hospital, come to the Royal Free Hospital, come to St Thomas Hospital across the river and show your support.
‘We will be out there from 8am – all of the day – until 6pm. Also come on the 8th of December, and on the 16th of December, our second and third day of strike action. We are drawing a line in the sand, we want you to stand along with us, come to our picket lines please.’