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Gold, incentives and meh

I'll quit the BMA over MTAS

There were many extraordinary aspects to last week's judicial review of the failed and now abandoned Medical Training Application Service (MTAS).

The revelation that the software to match applications to training posts wasn't even completed, never mind tested, and that this was known to both the Review Board and, presumably, Patricia Hewitt makes their positions untenable in my view.

Even worse was the spectacle of the BMA putting up a barrister against Remedy UK and arguing for the Review Board's flawed compromise on training selection.

The BMA describes MTAS as a 'complete disaster' but argues that 'in the interest of doctors and patients, the modified system should continue'.

This is despite the fact that the process has been fundamentally changed twice now and cannot by definition be fair for the different cohorts of candidates proceeding through the system.

If the BMA had wanted to commit mass membership suicide then it couldn't have thought of a better way.

On the final day of the judicial review 700 junior doctors were reported on doctors.net.uk as having resigned from the BMA. This number was boosted by what many junior doctors regarded as a 'treacherous' letter from the then BMA council chair James Johnson, published in The Times on 17 May.

No doubt hundreds more resignations will follow.

After 20 years' membership of the BMA this GP will be among their number.

From Dr Julian Orton, Ewell, Surrey

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