Mark Porter interview: the government will realise its mistake

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: (Published 27 April 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i2431
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. BMJ Careers
  1. arimmer{at}

Ahead of the first all-out strike by junior doctors in NHS history, Abi Rimmer spoke to the BMA council chair, Mark Porter, about life after the dispute

For the first time in the NHS’s history, junior doctors have taken full strike action.1 The decision to escalate action came after the government announced in February that it planned to impose a new contract on junior doctors from August.2

In recent interviews England’s health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has been keen to point out that the BMA and the government have been negotiating on the contract for three years. Despite the protracted nature of the dispute, however, Mark Porter, BMA council chair, said that he expects the government to realise that it has been wrong.

“I retain my hope, possibly even my expectation, that at some point the government is going to realise that it cannot continue like this. That it has somehow got itself into the position where it has made a terrible mistake and has to step back from imposing this contract on a group of staff who have got absolutely zero confidence in it,” Porter said.

After the full strike action the BMA’s Junior Doctors Committee (JDC) will meet on 7 May to discuss the association’s next move, he said. “As chair of …

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