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Junior doctors plan to go on strike every month for the rest of the year

31st August 2016

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Junior doctors are proposing a new round of strikes – a week every month for the rest of year.

Strikes already took place between January and April this year after junior doctors could not come to an agreement over Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s proposals for a new contract.

Junior doctors wear scrubs and masks as they silently sit down in protest during the BMA strike at Bristol Royal Infirmary.
(Ben Birchall/PA)

Ellen McCourt, who chairs the junior doctors committee (JDC), said the British Medical Association (BMA) could not “stand idly by” as the government imposes a contract on doctors that they do not have faith in, saying it would be bad for patients.

Leaked papers on the plans, seen by the Daily Mail, suggest they plan to strike from 8am to 5pm for five days in a row, with the first series of walk-outs possibly starting on September 12.

Junior doctors outside the Department of Health in Whitehall as they stage a protest as part of ongoing strike action.
(Yui Mok/PA)

The strikes would potentially lead to the postponement of thousands of scheduled operations, and the JDC admitted there would be a “regrettable impact on patient care”.

The risk of patient harm “increases considerably with four full weeks of full withdrawal”, they said, adding: “The level of cancellation of procedures and patient disruption would increase dramatically.”

The proposals are expected to be put to senior officials at the BMA on Wednesday, who will then vote on them.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt delivers a speech at the Evelina London Children's Hospital, London to mark the 65th anniversary of the National Health Service (NHS).
(Neil Hall/PA)

According to the Mail, the document says: “The proposal for Council’s consideration and vote is for a rolling programme of escalated industrial action beginning with five consecutive weekdays in September (8am to 5pm, full withdrawal of labour) followed by further five-day walkouts in each month to the end of the year.”

In July, the Government announced it would impose a new contract after junior doctors and medical students voted to reject a contract brokered with the BMA.

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