The striking junior doctors need an injection of realism

NHS HISTORY: The first all-out doctors’ strike recently took place in England.

THE first all-out doctors’ strike in the NHS’s history recently took place in England, as thousands of junior doctors walked out of both routine and emergency care in protest at the imposition of new contracts this summer.

Are you as fed up as me with pictures of mainly young junior doctors laughing on picket lines, holding banners claiming they’re ‘saving the NHS’? So hypocritical when strikes cause cancer treatment to be disrupted, operations cancelled, consultants drafted in and outpatient appointments postponed. Junior doctors should remember their primary concern is the care of their patients, and return to work.

Spreading their work over seven days will, after all, enable more efficient scheduling, balancing the supply of doctors against the demand which varies over the week. Their maximum hours are being reduced, not increased. They won’t be compelled to work longer hours. They can’t be compelled to work beyond the maximum legal limit. The current contract encourages some to do just that, by rewarding them with extra money. That’ll now be stopped.

The ‘compromise’ proposed by Labour was denounced as an ‘opportunistic’ political ploy. A valid trial is impractical – there are too many variables for any control to work, and one side has a vested interest in ensuring it fails. Would you want to be a patient in a trial where doctors want to ensure that death rates aren’t improved? They need to stop hurting patients as a weapon against the government and the hypocritical pretence that they’re trying to ‘save the NHS’.

The NHS is, as usual, being used by the left and the unions as a Trojan horse to attack (bring down?) the government and the junior doctors have been deluded into dragging it into their political agenda. And with talk of ambulance drivers possibly striking too, this ‘weaponisation’ of the NHS continues apace.

Ironically, the strike helps Brexiteers who claim the pay dispute could be settled at a cost equivalent to just two weeks of Britain’s EU contributions.

These doctors have taken the country back to the 1970s, operating a closed shop and holding the public to ransom.

Nora Johnson’s thrillers ‘No Way Back’, ‘Landscape of Lies’, ‘Retribution’, ‘Soul Stealer’, ‘The De Clerambault Code’ ( available from Amazon in paperback/eBook (€0.89;£0.79) and iBookstore. All profits to Costa del Sol Cudeca charity.


  1. Firstly, spreading the same number of doctors over more days and giving them less hours to work just doesn’t add up. The hospitals will just end up more under staffed with doctors spread more thinly.

    Secondly, surely it is far better to have a ‘trial’ of a contract, than to experimentally inflict upon the general public without valid evidence base to justify its implementation and certainly no evidence to support it effectiveness on mortality whatsoever! You wouldn’t give everyone a new drug without a controlled trial, so why are we taking this approach with distribution of doctors? Wouldn’t it be better to wait and the evaluate a trial over a year, than to be stuck with 15-20 year period of poor staff coverage?

    Thirdly, by ambulance drivers I assume you mean the highly skilled paramedics?

    The general public get a very good bargain with the NHS in this country. We spend less GDP per capita than both France and Germany and many other European countries on health care. I suspect most people would welcome an increase in funding to make a 7 day NHS truely possible. Not Jeremy Hunt’s half arsed attempt, at the expense of the hard working doctors!

    Either way the contract dispute will only be resolved with compromise from both sides. Hopefully constructive talks will commence soon.

  2. Nora,you don’t seem to understand that the doctors have signed contracts,which the govt. is now declaring are no longer valid.I hate to compare doctors with manual workers,but the govt.would never declare factory workers’ contracts invalid, and impose new extended hours of work. I note that MPs “contracts” are not being altered in any way,they can attend their place of work whenever they like,and vote themselves huge pay,pension,and expenses rises. Nora,I don’t know your history,but it’s my bet you have never actually worked a 42 or 48 hour week under contract,let alone devote the valuable years required in obtaining the necessary qualifications to become a Doctor of Medicine.You also permanently live in Spain,so please do not presume to lecture British doctors on the right to strike : the conflict is of the British Govt’s making,with their spokesman the extremely well-paid career politician Mr.Hunt (who ,if successful,will probably figure in the next round of honours -for -the boys).

  3. You need to resign for writing awful articles. Worst coverage on the issue I’ve ever seen and frankly the wrong end of the stick as well. Hope you enjoy private medical treatment, whilst the NHS gets industrialised into a human factory by virgin health. I feel so bad for you, bet you couldn’t enter a demanding subject like medicine even if you tried.

  4. Nora, your comments are ill informed and as such dangerous. The government touts the phrase ‘ 7 day nhs’, well, we already have a 7 day NHS in the UK, what they mean is they want all hospital services running 7 days, not just emergencies. At present, they are struggling ( and failing) to provide 24/7 emergency cover without locums. Running ‘routine’ services 7 days will require more staff- not just doctors- but paramedical staff ( eg radiographers, physios, phlebotomists) officers, secretaries etc to run the non emergency services. Therefore more staff are required ( back cover for those working on Saturdays and Sunday’s). This is going to be enormously expensive. The government know this, so are trying to impose new contract to cut costs….the junior doctors are first in the firing line, who will they pick on next? This isn’t about junior doctors, it’s about the future of the NHS


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