The BMA – Ignominious defeat?

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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.

One Reply to “The BMA – Ignominious defeat?”

  1. While a High Court decision will settle matters legally and change how doctors are paid for weekend work, it will hardly address the root of the issue – flexibility & engagement. Rather than enforce contract change, the Department of Health needs to empower NHS doctors by allowing them to, within safety limits, choose their own hours and more easily switch shifts between themselves with intelligent digital scheduling. By doing this, the central government will not dictate work patterns but allow staff to work more flexible hours, creating a more productive and engaged workforce, reducing staff turnover and decreasing agency costs. Essentially, better scheduling is what can help enable better healthcare practice more effectively delivers for patients and staff – something that cannot be said for tweaked weekend payment rates.

    Chris McCullough, CEO and co-founder of RotaGeek

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