Bitter dispute leads junior doctors to take unprecedented action

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: (Published 27 April 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i2404
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

Clare Dyer looks at the top issues worrying junior doctors about the new contract

Three years of negotiation have failed to produce agreement between the BMA and the government on a new contract1 for the 53 000 junior doctors in England. The bitter dispute has led to the first comprehensive strike in the history of the NHS, with juniors refusing to provide even emergency care. Despite the disagreement, Jeremy Hunt, health secretary for England, said that the contract would apply to junior doctors starting new jobs from next August.

Doctors are demoralised and suspicious that the contract will leave them worse off financially and that the new system won’t protect them from having to work unsafe hours, ultimately endangering patients.

Pay structure

The pay structure will change, disadvantaging those who currently work …

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