Rapid responses are electronic comments to the editor. They enable our users to debate issues raised in articles published on bmj.com. A rapid response is first posted online. If you need the URL (web address) of an individual response, simply click on the response headline and copy the URL from the browser window. A proportion of responses will, after editing, be published online and in the print journal as letters, which are indexed in PubMed. Rapid responses are not indexed in PubMed and they are not journal articles. The BMJ reserves the right to remove responses which are being wilfully misrepresented as published articles.
I am writing in response to the current discussion regarding the BMA and the junior doctors’ contracts. I fully support junior doctors in their opposition to the Government’s proposals and if they vote to strike I support them in this. I do however wonder where the BMA and its member doctors have been in the past few years with changes to the NHS with the Health and Social Care act; the past few years of austerity measures effecting other public services like schools; the working conditions being imposed on private sector workers like carers. The current government is due to vote to take away the right to strike and doctors in Spain and Greece are marching against austerity measures in their own countries. I have yet to see any stance being taken on any of these issues by the BMA and doctors in the UK as a whole.
Is this because we as a profession don’t use so don’t value these services but then we take issue when the same treatment gets applied to us? This despite the evidence of the junior doctors’ solidarity showing when we want to make a fuss we can and we are a very powerful force to be reckoned with.