The BMA has called off the junior doctors strikes planned for October, November and December. Whilst asserting that it is still in dispute with the government, the BMAs campaign has collapsed. As we brood on this we should remember the words of Dr Yannis Gourtsoyannis, a member of the BMA’s junior doctors committee (JDC), as quoted by the Daily Telegraph on August 12th. “It’s time to dust off our picket armbands. An escalated fight is on. Theresa May will reap what her predecessors have sown. The following two months are crucial for the Conservatives…We are about to throw a massive spanner in their works.”
He outlined plans in a message to junior doctors for repeated and crippling strikes, increasing pressure on NHS services as winter approaches in “an escalated fight” to get “more and more” out of the Government, and to wage war on its policies. He suggested that future strikes would have a still greater impact. “It’s the trade union dispute of this century. That’s no exaggeration. This is about to be ratcheted up by an order of magnitude,” he wrote. Let’s hope his clinical judgements are better than his political ones.