WINTER is coming. Residents in England will need to check hospital appointments for three days in December as in a vote organized by the British Medical Association, involving more than 37,000 junior doctors, a stunning 98% of those who voted opted for a strike.
In December a three-day strike is planned on December 1, 8 and 16. The strike is in reaction to the decision of the government to start using a contract for junior doctors, which they see as not fair and more importantly not safe for patients.
Dr. Mark Porter, chair of the BMA council, said: “We regret the inevitable disruption that this will cause but it is the government’s adamant insistence on imposing a contract that is unsafe for patients in the future, and unfair for doctors now and in the future, that has brought us to this point.”
What does this mean for regular people? During the strike dates non-urgent services will have to be cancelled. Junior doctors will provide emergency care on December 1, but would appear to be withdrawing all labour on the other two days.
As the strike occurs in December, many people, like the elderly could be badly affected. It is no surprise that there are real fears that people might be hurt by the strike, lives might even be endangered.
The Secretary of Health, Jeremy Hunt, was quoted as saying: “It is going to be very difficult to avoid harm to patients during these three days of industrial action.”
It has been 40 years ago since the last strike of junior doctors.