The BMA has made a last-ditch offer to the Government to cancel next week’s all-out strikes – if it lifts the imposition of the junior doctor contract.
The message comes as junior doctors are planning to take industrial action next week Tuesday and Wednesday, withdrawing urgent and emergency care for the first time in the history of the NHS.
BMA Junior Doctor Committee chair Dr Johann Malawana has requested a meeting with health secretary Jeremy Hunt before next week to attempt to avoid the strike.
He said that Mr Hunt’s decision to impose the new contract would be ‘tremendously damaging’, inviting Mr Hunt to withdraw the decision.
Dr Malawana said: ‘This is a clear offer in a bid to avert industrial action. Simply put, if the government agrees to lift the imposition, junior doctors will call of next week’s action.
‘With preparations underway for the first full-walk out of doctors in this country, the Government cannot continue to stick its head in the sand. It must now listen to the many voices raising concerns about its mishandled plans and do what it has refused to for far too long: put patients first, get back around the table and end this dispute through talks.’
But the plea comes as Mr Hunt told MPs in the House of Commons yesterday that there would be ‘no retreat’ on behalf of the Government.
The Government has said it will impose a new junior doctor contract which will reduce unsociable hours for which junior doctors are entitled to higher pay, but junior doctors argue the new contract is ‘unsafe’.