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BMA ‘considering all options’ in response to junior doctor contract imposition

The BMA has said junior doctors ‘would consider all options’ in response to Jeremy Hunt’s decision to impose a contract which representatives say junior doctors ‘cannot and will not accept’.

In a statement, BMA junior doctor committee chair Dr Johann Malawana said the Government had rejected an affordable offer put forward by the BMA, and instead choosing to ‘plough ahead with proposals that are fundamentally unfair’.

He says that seven day services were a ‘political fight’ for the Government, rather than a negotiation and warns that the decision to impose leaves the BMA ‘in no doubt’ they will seek to do the same for other professions.

Echoing the response of shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander, Dr Malawana said the decision to impose a contract was a sign of ‘total failure’ by the Government.

He added: ‘It is notable that the rest of the UK has chosen a different, constructive path on junior doctors’ contracts.’

Dr Malawana said: ‘The Government’s shambolic handling of this process from start to finish has totally alienated a generation of junior doctors – the hospital doctors and GPs of the future, and there is a real risk that some will vote with their feet.

‘Our message to the Government is clear: junior doctors cannot and will not accept a contract that is bad for the future of patient care, the profession and the NHS as a whole, and we will consider all options open to us.’

Mr Hunt had said in a statement to Parliament: ’Following the election, which the government won with a clear manifesto commitment to a 7-day NHS, the BMA Junior Doctors Committee refused point blank to discuss reforms, instead choosing to ballot for industrial action.

’Talks did finally start with the ACAS process in November but since then we have had 2 damaging strikes with around 6,000 operations cancelled.’