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Hunt says health secretary is likely his 'last big job in politics'

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said his current brief if is ‘likely his last big job in politics’, as junior A&E doctors are taking to the picket lines today in the first all-out strike in NHS history.

But, speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, Mr Hunt signalled that he remained certain that history would prove him right over the junior doctor contract dispute.

Mr Hunt said that although health secretaries were ‘never popular’, history would be judging him on whether he took ’tough and difficult decisions that enabled the NHS to deliver high-quality care for patients’.

He said: ‘This is likely to be my last big job in politics and the one thing that will keep me awake at night is if I didn’t do the right thing to help make the NHS one of the safest, highest-quality healthcare systems in the world.’

It comes as Mr Hunt defended his decision not to back down on the junior doctor contract imposition to the House of Commons yesterday, while pleading with doctors not to withdraw emergency care.

He also said patients would be able to access longer hours at their GP surgeries today and tomorrow, although neither NHS England nor the Department of Health could tell Pulse where.

Readers' comments (26)

  • Doctor, Doctor, - I can now stop taking my sleeping tablets.

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  • BMA - when he is gone, hold the line and a future SoS will think twice. You might yet snatch victory from the jaws of cardigan wearing.

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  • i dont think he really has a choice

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  • You guys do realise that Tory policy made this DoH hitman send the NHS to the dogs!

    This was planned over 15 years ago but only took place over the past 5 years...today it has reached a pivotal point but I guess Mr.Hunt will have to settle for a cushy overseas job like Blair did !

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  • TIME for all of us join the strike & hand back our contracts & ask consultants to join the strike as well.
    This government is hell bent on breaking NHS. so If they want to take this stand then why should we worry. I don't care if this government falls.

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  • "Big job" is what my parents in law referred to when my children did a poo. Now I see the connection

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  • Hunty mc hunt face-- please don't go!

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  • "Big job" is what my parents in law referred to when my children did a poo. Now I see the connection.

    LOL

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  • "...if I didn’t do the right thing to help make the NHS one of the safest, highest quality healthcare systems in the world.’ Er... Someone needs to remind him it was already one of the safest, high quality systems in the world before he, and Lansley before him, were put in charge.

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  • Am I the only person who fears a new health minister with a new idea to fix the NHS?
    Despite all the vitriol about his Hunt having a "secret agenda" to privatise the NHS what I see is increasing demand due to better medical treatments for an increasingly frail population. Not easy to fix when the government is strapped for cash. What would you do in his boots?
    Labour? They couldn't balance the books.
    I don't want another period of indecision, change of direction, new priorities. Can we keep the current ones (even the useless ones like dementia) for another 10 years before we reset the targets.
    Force GP into 7 day working? I do support this, it would make practices organise themselves onto the same IT system in local groupings, which is long overdue and already happening.
    sorry for being an Anonymous Coward...

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