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New contract would mean doctors are “overworked, underpaid, undervalued, demoralised”

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 21 October 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5596

More than 15 000 junior doctors marched in a rally against the new contract on Saturday 17 October.1 Matthew Limb talked to some of them

Callan Stroud

intensive care junior doctor, Southampton

“I think the new contract is unsafe. I think the Department of Health and NHS Employers are trying to enforce an extension of elective care onto the weekend. They’re failing to make the distinction between elective and emergency care. In doing that, and by misquoting figures to try and get the public on board, they’re trying to stretch an already underfunded and under-resourced health service to the point of collapse.

“I work weekends. I work one in three or one in four weekends. I work nights: 50% of my shifts are nights.

“I have another year for my current training block. After that I’m going abroad (that was my plan before all this) for a year. Increasingly now I wonder whether I’ll end up coming back. Because I hear the treatment there is so much better.

“A lot of colleagues share that view, that working life is better in New Zealand and Australia. How many would leave I don’t …

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