Junior doctors ridiculous strikes

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Firstly many people don’t actually know what a junior doctor is. They think that they are doctors who are not senior. In fact they are doctors who are still being trained. And being paid whilst they learn. Being a junior doctor starts when they get their university degrees and finishes when they pass the exams to join  a medical royal college relevant to the specialty they are practicing.

The basic starting salary of a foundation doctor (newly graduated from university) is £22,636 but having to work extra and unsociable hours attracts some additional payments. In 2015, NHS Employers reported the total annual earnings for foundation doctors in England averaged just over £36,000. While the basic starting salary for doctors in speciality training is £30,002, NHS Employers were reporting that average earnings in this group of doctors was nearly £53,000. Not bad for people who are still learning their trade. In Italy, for instance, junior doctors are unpaid for the first year, after which they get €1,660 a month.

Our NHS is actually pretty useless, it doesn’t seem to be any good at diagnostics, treats symptoms instead of finding the cause, kills more patients than most first world health service and has a tea and gossip culture because of their trade union domination. Anyone who has used the health service in another civilised country will tell you how much better it is elsewhere. The NHS is certainly not the envy of the world, far from it, and it has never been copied by any other nation, they have learned from our mistake.

When I was in hospital for a protracted stay my ward window overlooked a hospital staff car park full of Porches, Range Rovers and similar cars. At the weekend it was empty. So anyone having, say, a stroke a baby or a heart attack at the weekend is not going to see the best people. This is a matter of fact. Also a modern hospital is full of billions of pounds worth of equipment, scanners, operating theatres, radiation therapy etc. This is used for the 37.5 hour working week, the other 130.5 hours it lies idle, despite patients on waiting lists desperate for its use. No free market business would put up with this waste and inefficiency. It is amoral and NHS England are working to fix it, starting with 7 day a week hospital opening.

The doctors have a trade union called the BMA, which has been taken over by lefties as you can see above. These lefties are looking for a political fight with the government, part of the Labour party’s efforts to “weaponise” the NHS after losing the General Election. So they have chosen to go to war over the introduction of seven day working. And the junior doctors, who are just cannon fodder in a political battle, have fallen for it on the promise of more money. Just like a traditional 1960s industrial dispute. Greed is their driver, though they pretend otherwise.

There is agreement between the doctors and the NHS on 15 out of 16 issues. The strikes are about just one issue, weekend pay. It is absolutely nothing to do with safety. But if we pay 53,000 (about half of the total medical workforce) junior doctors more then there will be fewer hip operations and less cancer treatment. There is only so much money. Meanwhile the industrial action of the doctors will kill and harm patients, removing such a huge resource makes this inevitable. Research indicates an increased mortality of about 20%. The BMA must be proud.

NHS junior doctor hours big 650

Junior doctors traditionally work long hours, the proposed deal has an absolute limit of 72 hours in a single week, less than the current 91 hours, making our NHS safer. Doctors will not have to work for more than 48 hours on average due to the European Working Time Directive (ETWD), but they can opt out and work up to 56 should they want to. So part of the agreement is the doctors getting the same money for fewer hours, but their leftie, trade union driven greed makes them harm patients for even more. The current NHS offer would see basic pay rise by 11 per cent (edit, this has subsequently been increased by Hunt to 13.5%) with three quarters of junior doctors having an overall pay rise, and almost all others having their pay protected until 2019. Not enough for the BMA lefties.

The BMA say that many British trained doctors go abroad, this is true, 17,000 British doctors (not just junior ones) are working in other OECD countries. But 34,000 NHS doctors were born abroad. So the BMA are being ridiculous.

It is obvious that the extremist lefties at the BMA don’t want a settlement, they just want to create as much public sector strife as possible, their actions are 100% political. Harming the democratically elected government is their aim. They have zero interest or care for the health of patients, for the future of the NHS as an institution or even for the junior doctors who are their patsies. You can also the way that every left wing institution in the UK is supporting this industrial action, it really is a concerted attempt to weaponise the NHS. No wonder that Jeremy Hunt was reluctantly forced into implementing the unagreed contract, there really was no other way to resolve the dispute.

Overall the junior doctors are very much on the moral low ground, they are harming patients who they are meant to protect. They are doing this out of greed because they want a bigger slice of the NHS pie. And they are doing it purely to satisfy the political agenda of a leftie BMA leadership. Removing half the clinical staff from the NHS in industrial action must cause huge harm, otherwise why do we employ them in the first place? They are causing harm by the cancellation of very many thousands of operations and procedures, so people with problems such as aneurysms and congestive heart failure will die. People needing diagnosis of aggressive cancers before treatment will die sooner. And the much longer waiting lists will lead to people dying whilst waiting who otherwise would have been operated on. This is how the junior doctors are killing patients who they have trained to help, they must be so very proud.

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  1. Howzit First of all the amount of training that a doctor gets is limited its supposed to be about 20% of their time but pressures of staffing are reducing it further. Junior doctors in the specialty training on 53000 will have worked for 5 years as a doctor after 5 years in med-school. Most people do about 3 years in uni so junior doctors are at the level of someone who has worked 7 years. They will have been working 5 of those years + 48 hours working nights and weekends and taking responsibility for peoples lives. The NHS is very good value for money, costing us just over 8% of gdp, compared 11% for Germany and France and around 14% for the Netherlands. Its outcomes are catching up despite criminal under-funding by the tories. The tea drining culture is an out right lie. Private companies are far fro the hyper efficient workplace people perceive them to be. I know many NHS workers and they all work harder than the vast majority of the people i know working in the private sector. The whole modern hospital equipment lying unused is also bollocks. Equipment has a lifetime based on how much it is used not how long its been left lying around. Thats why your car has an odeometer on it. Also 60% of the NHS budget is spent on staff. Less than 20% is spent on equipment and buildings so spending loads more on staff to spread out over your relatively inexpensive equipment is just dumb. Also geographical restraints means you will need to have an oversupply of equipment any way because you cant bus a stroke victim to another city to use their MRI. Hospitals are not empty on weekends both consultants and juniors work on weekends. If you have an emergency you will be seen on the weekend. If you can wait you will efficiently be taken care of during the week. It makes sense to Have every one working together on a 9-5 instead of spreading them out 24/7 because it means the whole team can do ward rounds together and make plans for each patient. The vast majority of health care requires treatment over time, not radical interventions that need to be done that day. The BMA is fighting a paycut for its members. It is literally their job to get the best deal they can for its members, thats hard cold capitalism not leftism. If you want to get someone to work for you you have to negotiate with them they are not slaves. The idea that most would get a pay rise relies on you believing that the government is telling the truth. Only a naive fool would beilve a thing this government says. The pay protection is dirty trick by the government to get current doctors to sell out the ones coming behind them. Comparing The number of doctors born out side the uk to trained one leaving is idiotic. You should compare the number of trained doctors entering the uk to trained leaving to get the net drain/gain. The doctors are campaign for something close to the status quo so you can not say they want a larger slice of the pie. They have already agreed their pay will not go up.


    1. https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/1011822es.pdf. this link calls into question your claims about MRI utilisation and clearly highlights that trusts have no idea of effectiveness and that usage rates vary widely from between 40 and 100 hours per week. I could not find any evidence to suggest this equipment could only be used for a number of hours per day or week as you claim. Would you be kind enough to supply some supporting evidence for this claim corranhornrogue9


      1. You miss understood what i meant. I did not say that MRI machines are limited to working a certain number of hours a day or week. I simply said that equipment that is used more needs replacement sooner, so uterlisizing equipment more does not necessarily reduce your capital expense. Of course sometimes things become obsolete or rust regardless of use, so its not like uterlisation will have no effect. But if you want to say we will save loads of money by running all this equipment 24/7 you will have to look at each peace of equipment and figure out how much its lifetime will we effected by being used more. Once you have figured this out what ever the figure is it will reduce the amount that can be saved by running hospitals 24/7, when you look at how small the capital cost this euipment is compared to the nhs staff budget it begins to look less and less attractive as a means to saving money in the NHS


  2. You are a sanctimonious and thoroughly disgusting specimen and I feel sick after reading your diatribe. I don’t know what happened when you when bankrupt that left you so spiteful of humanity.


    1. simone,

      When you are rude and abusive it means that you have lost the argument.
      Maggie. Insults.


      1. Junior doctors don’t operate mri scanners. You want to be having a world with our Radiographers.

        I guess junior doctors could be trained for free, but you don’t say who should care for the patients before consultancy, or explain who would fill that 10-15yr gap, nor how those docs are to live in the meantime. Presume you’re all for enormous loans and grants at the taxpayer’s expense.

        Hunt supports removing doctors from providing clinical care in the week, and putting them on the weekend. Presumably those patients in the week will have to fend for themselves. Also, with increased weekend cover comes less training for these doctors. We will raise a generation of doctors who are less experienced.

        Lastly, if it’s all about the money, why didn’t the junior docs accept the pay increase?


        1. Richard,

          The pay increase was not accepted because the BMA obviously don’t want to settle. They just want to cause the maximum political strife and the junior doctors are merely their tools in achieving this. This is the result of Labour losing the general election and deciding to weaponise the NHS. If you had actually read the article you would know this.


      2. So being rude means you’ve lost an argument if that is the case how come you claim on twitter you mute retards….you are the epitome of a thick as shit Tory voter.


  3. Well let’s not let facts get in the way of a good diatribe against doctors.
    What about those of us who have read the contract points, the “research”, the new Rotas, the proposed changes to safeguards and the reduction in training and research…those of us like me who have “pay protection” which means we don’t lose any pay when the “pay rise” comes in. If I’m not losing money (or gaining), keeping all my banding then how can it be about money for me? As for hours well as the average is staying the same I’m not really going to have to work less hours just really broken shifts which a professor of sleep studies looked st and states would play havoc with people’s ability to function and stay healthy.
    Then there is just the simple stuff like…if you take 19hrs a month away from doctors and lose millions of man hours how do you cover that.
    So far hunt has promised- reduced hours with an expansion of the service with no more doctors….please explain how this is possibly safe as I can’t work it out.
    But don’t worry…no doctor will lose pay and most will see a pay rise, despite the contract been cost neutral – again maybe my understanding of maths and physics isn’t as good as hunts but I’m confused.


  4. Hi there,
    I’m sorry that you disagree with the strikes. You’ve actually made quite a lot of factual errors in this article, so I wanted to correct them for clarity. I’ve steered clear of opinions that I disagree with as I don’t imagine you’re open to argument, but please let me know if I’m wrong. Corrections as follows:

    1. “Being a junior doctor starts when they get their university degrees and finishes when they pass the exams to join a medical royal college relevant to the specialty they are practicing.” – Incorrect, most junior doctors join a medical royal college ~3-5 years after graduating. Being a junior doctor finishes when you become a consultant, usually minimum 8-10 years after graduating (or 5 years, if you become a GP).

    2. “So anyone having, say, a stroke a baby or a heart attack at the weekend is not going to see the best people” Incorrect – you’ve picked out 3 of the specialties (stroke medicine, obstetrics and cardiology) which have 3 of the best and most consistent levels of emergency cover at all hours. All 3 specialties have consultants rota-d every weekend to care for patients who need them.

    3. “Also a modern hospital is full of billions of pounds worth of equipment, scanners, operating theatres, radiation therapy etc. This is used for the 37.5 hour working week, the other 130.5 hours it lies idle, despite patients on waiting lists desperate for its use.” Incorrect – scanners and operating theatres are very much used at weekends and out-of-hours for emergency cases. You seem to be getting lost in the government’s confusion between elective and emergency care. Currently we do not have a full 7-day elective service but do have a 7-day emergency service.

    4. “There is agreement between the doctors and the NHS on 15 out of 16 issues.” I’m not sure where you’ve got this 15 out of 16 points from? The only time ’15 out of 16 issues’ has been mentioned in the debate was back in July, when the government refused to compromise on 15 of 16 points proposed by the DDRB.

    5. “Meanwhile the industrial action of the doctors will kill and harm patients, removing such a huge resource makes this inevitable. Research indicates an increased mortality of about 20%.” Absolutely incorrect. You’ve linked to a paper on nursing strikes, whereas we’re discussing doctors’ strikes. In fact, mortality goes down during doctors’ strikes – see here: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dr-raj-persaud/when-doctors-go-on-strike_b_1513689.html

    6. “So part of the agreement is the doctors getting the same money for fewer hours” Incorrect. Yes the maximum number of hours per week is being reduced, but the average number of hours per week is not. So hours will be spread more evenly across weeks, but doctors will work the same number of hours overall.

    7. “with three quarters of junior doctors having an overall pay rise” This is currently conjecture as the government are yet to show us concrete figures, rotas and terms and conditions. And under the original contract, 100% of junior doctors would be receiving a pay rise in August (with annual progression, which I know many people disagree with). Nevertheless, that means at least 25% are losing out under the new contract compared to the old contract.

    8. “It is obvious that the extremist lefties at the BMA” Just a quick point about the BMA – whatever you think about the leadership, they are supported by 98% of their members. Are we all extremist lefties?

    9. “Removing half the clinical staff from the NHS in industrial action must cause huge harm” The striking junior doctors do not constitute half the clinical staff from the NHS. ~60-70% of junior doctors are striking, while the remainder continue to provide emergency care. Clinical staff also include consultants, nurses and allied health professionals – 60% of junior doctors therefore does not equal half of the clinical staff in the NHS!

    Finally, just a few points to illustrate why the strikes are about patient safety:
    – If the current number of junior doctors are spread more thinly over 7 days, the result will be more rota gaps – which patients will fall through
    – Safeguards to prevent junior doctors working excessive unpaid overtime hours are being removed in the new contract – if this leads to junior doctors working unsafe hours (as many believe it will), this will have an impact on patient safety, as tired doctors make mistakes
    – This contract makes working as a doctor in England significantly less attractive, at a time when there is already a massive recruitment and retention crisis, particularly for specialties such as A&E. If even 1% of junior doctors leave, who will replace them?
    – Many of us are hugely concerned that all of this is related to privatisation of the NHS, which we believe will be extremely harmful for patients in the long-term (c.f. the USA)


  5. Obviously no reply to the above. Must be “researching”. I heard there’s a guy in London who is great at statistics…Jeremy something


  6. Funny article but I think you made a lot of valid points
    Its about money. I think the NHS should be 7days a week but I still think they should keep their weekend premium. What happening is gov want to make a sat like the week day low pay. But its been happening for years in other jobs.Doctors should remember welcome to plantation


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