A body representing 300,000 junior doctors across Europe has backed the BMA’s opposition to Government plans to impose a new contract on junior doctors.
The EJD (European junior doctors permanent working group) has signed a motion calling for the UK Government to halt its current plans for a new contract.
The body, which is made up of junior doctors committees from across 20 European countries, has warned that the terms of the new contract threaten to ‘devalue junior doctors’ and ‘compromise patient safety’.
BMA junior doctors committee chair Johann Malawana welcomed the EJD’s backing, saying it further strengthened the scale of opposition to the Government’s plans.
He added: ‘The junior doctors committee welcomes the support and solidarity of our European counterparts and the 300,000 junior doctors across Europe that they represent.
'Unfair' and 'unsafe'
‘Over the past few weeks, we have seen thousands of junior doctors across England stand up and make their voices heard over the Government’s imposition of an unfair and unsafe new contract.
‘I sincerely hope that ministers will take heed of this groundswell of national and international recognition and support, and commit to engaging with doctors in discussing the terms of any future contract.’
This month, a series of demonstrations led by junior doctors has taken place across England, with 20,000 marching in London alone on 17 October.
In the latest protest, several thousand junior doctors took to the streets of Newcastle on 24 October.
In its motion, the EJD calls for any new juniors contract to include proper hours safeguards for doctors and patients, recognition of antisocial hours and fair treatment for staff working less than full time or on parental leave.
It says: ‘The EJD supports the BMA’s calls for assurances from the Secretary of State for Health ... Until these assurances are received, junior doctors in England will not re-enter contract negotiations and will continue to take steps towards industrial action.’
The motion adds: ‘The EJD supports junior doctors in England in taking all necessary action, up to and including industrial action, in order to achieve a contract that is good for patients, fair for junior doctors and good for the NHS.’
The BMA is preparing to ballot its junior doctor members in England for industrial action over the contract.
The Welsh and Scottish Governments have confirmed that they will not impose a contract on trainees in their nations.
The Northern Ireland Government has yet to make a decision.
Read more about the junior contract proposals
The story so far