Legal challenge to Tory contract imposition

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Junior doctors demonstrate in the lead-up to their second strike. Their fourth strike takes place this week – they will not accept imposition
Junior doctors demonstrate in the lead-up to their second strike. Their fourth strike takes place this week – they will not accept imposition

THE BMA has launched a judicial review, challenging the lawfulness of the Tories’ decision to impose a new contract on the junior doctors.

Junior doctors rightly insist that the new contract will make them work such long hours that it will become unsafe for patients. The junior doctors are escalating their actions against the imposition with a 48-hour strike from 8am on Wednesday 6 April until 8am on Friday 8 April.

Then comes a full withdrawal of labour, an all-out strike without emergency cover from 8am and 5pm on Tuesday 26th and Wednesday 27th April. Dr Johann Malawana, BMA junior doctor committee chair, said: ‘The decision to plough ahead with the imposition of an unfair contract that junior doctors have no confidence in and have roundly rejected, is a sign of total failure on the government’s part.

‘Instead of meaningfully negotiating with the BMA to reach an agreement that would be in the best interest of patients, junior doctors and the NHS, the government walked away, rejecting a fair and affordable offer by the BMA.

‘It has since continued wilfully ignoring the mounting chorus of concern, from doctors, patients and senior NHS managers – the very people who use and provide NHS services.

‘In trying to push through these changes, prior to imposing a new contract, the government failed to give proper consideration to the equalities impact this contract could have on junior doctors.

‘So, the BMA has issued proceedings to launch a judicial review challenging the lawfulness of the health secretary’s decision to impose the new junior doctor contract. The government’s shambolic mishandling of the process, from start to finish, has alienated a generation of doctors – the hospital doctors and GPs of the future – leaving a real risk that some will vote with their feet and the future of patient care will be affected.

‘For the sake of patients, doctors and the future of the NHS, the government must put politics to one side, lift the imposition and actually address, rather than ignore, junior doctors’ outstanding concerns.’