'This strike is our only option left'
GP trainees say why they are taking industrial action
Dr Renée Hoenderkamp, a GP ST3 trainee, is staging a picket at her workplace the Abbey Medical Centre in northwest London along with two other registrars in the practice.
‘We are going to explain the different parts of the proposed contract, that we would work longer hours, which will affect patient safety. That we will get less pay, which is demoralising for an already demoralised group of people. We are hoping patients will be supportive, and so far - because we are wearing our badges - I haven’t had any patient who hasn’t been supportive.
‘We will explain that although health secretary Jeremy Hunt has agreed to go to Acas, he has refused to remove the threat of imposition of this contract, and that is why we are still on strike.’
Dr Bea Bakshi is a GP trainee currently training at Northwick Park Hospital and a BMA junior doctor representative for northwest London.
’The Government’s contract proposals will devalue and penalise those doctors working the most onerous shift patterns, weekends and nights.
’There also remains the threat from the Government that doctors won’t be properly compensated for working unsociable hours: again an unacceptable position.
‘Other concerns remain, but what we are talking about is a proposed contract that still doesn’t meet our desire for a principled way forward that is good for patients, fair for junior doctors and good for the NHS.
‘Industrial action is not something any junior doctor takes lightly - and I certainly never thought I would be doing this as a GP trainee - but with the Government’s approach this is our only option left.’
Dr Mohsin Ditta is a GP ST3 trainee in Rotherham and Doncaster
‘I think junior doctors were disappointed that the strike was called off last time at the last minute. I think it is the right thing to do for a number of reasons. The health secretary hasn’t negotiated in good faith with the BMA.
‘This contract has been under negotiation for a number of years and he has continued to disregard the views of junior doctors. Junior doctors feel undervalued and they don’t feel listened to.
‘If this contract was imposed, there would be a brain drain from the UK with great numbers of junior doctors going to work in places like Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East and Asia.’