Save our NHS: St Barts Junior Doctor Strike
The Junior Doctors from St Bartholomew’s Hospital joined the third industrial action British Medical Association strike yesterday.
It was a drizzly yet impassioned scene; the steps of St Paul’s were filled with several junior doctors dressed in scrubs chanting “Not safe, not fair” and “Save our NHS” on the first day of the 48 hour walk-out.
The main reason Dr Kyle McBeath says he is striking is because of concerns over Jeremy Hunt’s overhaul of doctors working contracts. The new seven-day contract will come into mandatory effect as of August.
“It’s imposed, not negotiated and there are great concerns on how a doctor workforce who is struggling to provide a five-day service will now provide a seven-day service with no extra funding or doctors,” he says.
Determined to raise public awareness and interaction they set up three defibrillators and offered passers-by life-saving emergency CPR lessons.
Dr McBeath says; “I’m desperate to stay here and work for the NHS, I didn’t become a doctor to work in a partly privatised system. A number of my colleagues are opting to go abroad for better working conditions.”
“A man who is an ex-executive of a PR firm is trying to change working conditions that 98 percent have said are unfair and unsafe. Rather than negotiating the man has imposed a contract upon us, what would you do?”
During the BMA strikes, junior doctors withdraw all NHS care in hospitals leaving only the emergency services working for 48 hours. As a result, thousands of operations have been cancelled and thousands more outpatient appointments.
The first two strikes were held on Tuesday the 12th January and Wednesday the 10th February. Yesterday the strike started at 8am and will continue until 8am on Friday the 11th March.
The next scheduled strikes will take place from:
- 8am on Wednesday 6 April to 8am on Friday 8 April
- 8am on Tuesday 26 April to 8am on Thursday 28 April