Intended for healthcare professionals

Career Focus


BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 27 March 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:S3a-7187

The Junior Doctors' Committee of the BMA made a big splash last week with its declaration that it is “fighting mood” over out of hours conditions of work. Nine years after the publication of the “New” Deal there are still 5,000 doctors exceeding its targets for working hours. The reduction in hours has been bought at the price of increased work intensity in sometimes awkward shift systems - and of course, the more hours juniors work, the less they get paid. Sorting out this financial anomaly will be key to resolving the problems of excessive hours of work for junior doctors. Other professions seem to have no problems with billing by the hour for their services, though not many do so at the £4.02 hourly rate that a junior house officer picks up for working an on-call rota. I really can't imagine why they want to leave the country.

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