#AceWorldNews – Jan.12: There are more than 55,000 junior doctors in England and the rights and wrongs of this dispute … !
Junior doctors have been urged to return to the negotiating table by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who described their 24-hour strike in England as “completely unnecessary”.
NHS England said about 10,000 junior doctors had reported for duty out of 26,000 scheduled to work the day shift.
Thousands of routine operations have been cancelled during the walkout in protest at a proposed new contract.
The BMA said the strike sent a “clear message” to the government.
“We deeply regret the level of disruption caused, but this is a fight for the long-term safety of patients and junior doctors’ working lives,” said Dr Johann Malawana, chair of the British Medical Association (BMA) junior doctors’ committee.
He said that junior doctors had “no confidence” in the new contract.
NHS England apologised to affected patients, and said trusts would try to reschedule cancelled appointments and operations as soon as possible.
The walkout, which began at 08:00 GMT, comes after talks between the union and government failed to reach agreement on the proposed new contract. The BMA is concerned about pay for weekend working, career progression and safeguards to protect doctors from being overworked.
But ministers have argued the current arrangements are outdated and changes are needed to improve standards of care at the weekend.
Getting the message across at Sandwell Hospital in West BromwichJunior doctors are providing only emergency cover during the industrial action
NHS England said more than 3,300 operations had been cancelled on Tuesday – about one in 10 of those planned.
Several hundred more operations have been impacted in the days before and after the strike.
Emily Rogers, from Cheltenham, told the BBC she had been due to have an operation to insert a new feeding tube, which had taken four months to arrange.
“I thought doctors got into [their profession] less for monetary value and more for how rewarding it was,” she said.
Junior doctors on strike
operations were scheduled for Tuesday
of those operations have been cancelled
- 55,000 junior doctors work in England
- 37,000 are members of the BMA
- 26,000 were due to work on Tuesday
- 10,000 or so turned up for work
Source: NHS England, BMA
Science Photo Library
There are more than 55,000 junior doctors in England, a third of the medical workforce, although just over 37,000 are BMA members.
Junior doctors who support the industrial action are providing only emergency cover during the 24-hour period.
BBC health correspondent Nick Triggle said it was thought many of the 10,000 doctors who turned up were medics who had agreed to work to cover emergency care, although a few thousand were also likely to be doctors who were not members of the BMA and not taking part in strike action.
The BMA said: “Since we asked junior doctors who would be covering emergency care to go into work today it is hardly surprising that they have done so along with those who are not members of the BMA.”