Medicopolitical Digest

Quality of training must be paramountDevolution must not damage Scottish health serviceGPs' out of hours funding must continueJDC group will look at new deal

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 04 October 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:888

Quality of training must be paramount

Junior doctors have emphasised that irrespective of its length the quality of their training is the most important criterion.

Speakers at last week's meeting of the BMA's Junior Doctors Committee thought that the European Union's working time directive, which at present excludes doctors in training, and the European Commission's white paper on the health and safety of excluded groups, could provide a lever for improving training. While accepting the need to reduce hours to protect doctors and patient care, they agreed with the BMA's response to the white paper that a reduction in hours would have resource implications for the NHS and would be difficult to achieve with the existing medical workforce.

Under the directive employers would be prevented from insisting on a working week beyond 48 hours and employees would be able to insist on a maximum working week of 48 hours on average including overtime. The directive, however, would not be binding and employees who wanted to work beyond 48 hours would be able to do so. The new deal on juniors' hours is …

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