JUNIOR doctors urged their colleagues yesterday to vote ‘NO’ and reject the so-called ‘deal’ struck by Tory health secretary Hunt and the BMA leadership.
Chairman of the BMA Junior Doctors Committee (JDC) Johann Malawana, who is calling for junior doctors to vote ‘YES’ to the deal fears that it may be rejected when it is voted on – the results are due back from a ballot of all junior doctors on July 1st. He claims that he has secured ‘the absolute best deal possible’ but says that it is ‘too close to call’ which way the junior doctors will vote.
BMA rep Aislinn Macklin-Doherty has made an impassioned plea to fellow junior doctors that they must reject the deal, in a post that has been re-posted thousands of times. She writes: ‘Dear all, ‘I say this extremely calmly with full consideration of all of the information available in a non “knee jerk reaction”.
‘You must vote no to this contract offer and here is the indisputable evidence as to why, whatever else you are told. Three years ago the BMA entered negotiations in very good faith with the Government to obtain the best possible contract restructuring for our profession. One year ago, a new Government was elected and totally changed the “goalposts” of discussion by asserting they had the right to enforce a 7-day manifesto pledge because of their “electoral mandate”…
‘The problem is … they are attempting to do this for free. This is what the cost-neutral part of this contract is and that is why our terms can never be better under this condition!! This has not been removed whatever anyone tells you. Not a single person on the BMA can categorically tell you it is not cost-neutral and that is the key point.
‘They can tell you what they “think” or what they “believe” but not a single person can say that the Government has eliminated this aspect of it – because they haven’t. Let’s be clear about what Jeremy Hunt has tried to do to achieve cost neutrality: he has misled the public about the weekend effect and when found out claims “he is not an academic”; he has written emails to ask senior leaders to undermine our commitment to the profession suggesting we do not care about patients; he has consistently insulted and belittled our intelligence in the press by claiming we do not understand the information presented to us by the BMA.
‘After all of this, he is now happy that this new contract “will make it cheaper to roster doctors at the weekend” I quote his exact words from this week. Whatever the 48 pages of the contract say … if Jeremy Hunt is happy that this contract is cost neutral then by definition you should not be. Ask yourself why would they suddenly concede now?
‘We have overwhelming public support.
‘We have support from all professions in the field.
‘We have support from our amazing consultants who totally took on the huge challenge we faced of accusations of patient safety by enabling us to take action.
‘We must not throw this away by agreeing to a detrimental contract after all we have achieved.
‘These are the facts. This is not a knee jerk response. It is long considered, having weighed up, read and analysed all of the evidence and spoken to many people who were involved in negotiating this. Let’s stick together and win this doctors, because this is about setting a precedent for what they will do to every other member of staff in the NHS. We are the ones defending them. And we have everyone on our side. Vote no!’