Medicopolitical Digest

Junior doctors rebut government claimsBMA sets up audit committeeGPs must get involved in walk-in health centresConsultant bodies should have strong voice in trusts

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.319.7205.324 (Published 31 July 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:324

Junior doctors rebut government claims

The BMA has rebutted the UK government's claims that juniors' hours are falling and that the junior doctors' dispute is with the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body rather than with the government.

Responding to the health secretary's assertion that junior doctors could not negotiate with the government on pay while remaining with the review body system, the chairman of the BMA council said that doctors had always negotiated with the government over major structural changes in pay. “The review body's role is to put a price on the outcome of these negotiations,” Dr Ian Bogle said.

Last week the health secretary, Mr Frank Dobson, said that the reason that the hours looked worse was because of changes in the criteria for monitoring compliance with the new deal. Miss Fiona Kew, one of the deputy chairpersons of the Junior Doctors Committee, said that the new criteria were agreed so that previously concealed breaches of the new deal could be exposed. “The plain fact is that in September 1998 we had 15.9% of juniors working outside new deal limits. We now have 28.6% doing so. That is …

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