As tens of thousands of junior doctors in England begin an unprecedented 6 days of strike action on Wednesday morning, the British Medical Association’s junior doctors committee (JDC) have called on the Health Secretary to make a credible offer on pay which could bring an end to the strikes.
BMA junior doctors committee co-chairs Dr Robert Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi said:
“Doctors would have liked to start the new year with the hope of an offer on pay that would lead to a better-staffed health service and a better-valued profession. Instead, doctors are still set to be paid £15.50 an hour and are being forced to go back out on strike by a Government that cannot get its act together and make the reasonable offer on pay it knows it eventually must.
“We spent the holiday period hoping we would get the ‘final offer’ that the Health Secretary had promised us last year. Sadly, we have received no such offer despite repeatedly saying we would meet for talks any time over Christmas. We will continue to offer to meet throughout these coming strikes. All we need is a credible offer we can put to members and we can call off these strikes.
“Morale across the health service is at an all-time low. 15 years of pay erosion have meant a 26% real terms pay cut for an increasingly undervalued workforce who are overstretched and left yet again to carry the burden of years of the neglect and decline this Government has overseen. Many will be wondering if their chosen career is still worth pursuing – the Government has the chance to show those doctors they still have a future working in this country.
“This strike marks another unhappy record for the NHS – the longest single walkout in its history. But as we have said all along, there is no need for any records to fall: we can call off this strike now if we get an offer from Government that we can put to members. Doctors want 2024 to be the start of a renewed workforce which can finally provide high quality care for patients again – it is for the Government to put forward a credible offer and facilitate that journey.”
Notes to editors
The strike dates in England are from 7am on the 3rd January to 7am on the 9th January 2024.
The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.
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