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‘If this contract is imposed I will leave medicine’: NHS junior doctors protest about new government contract proposals

A new contract proposal from the government has led to junior doctors protesting with a threat of strike action

A new contract proposal from the government has led to junior doctors protesting with a threat of strike action, fearing the new contract will cut their pay by up to 40%, force them to work more antisocial shifts and put off some being GPs or A&E medics.

The Guardian recently asked junior doctors and healthcare professionals to talk about their current hours and pay, with many replies suggesting that patient care will be compromised if the new contract is imposed next summer.

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Some of the replies say that the current pay and work hours are barely sustainable, and that the new changes, which they suggest could cut pay and slash overtime rates between 10pm and 7pm for 6 days, will force many to leave the profession or leave abroad.

A poll by grassroots junior doctors claims that just one in four of the 6,000 surveyed would stay in their post if the contract comes in, according to the Telegraph.

Dr Michael Patterson, a consultant in Intensive Care & Emergency Medicine, told the Guardian that “Doctors in training will be left undervalued, overworked and many will unfortunately seek alternative career paths outside our excellent specialty training schemes,” and that it will have a significant impact on the safe delivery of care to our most vulnerable patients.

Alice Beardmore-Gray, a junior doctor, also told the Guardian that “the specialities hit the hardest will be those on the front line – A&E, Acute medicine, Elderly care, General Practice, Obstetrics.”

Laura Coates, a NIHR Clinical Lecturer in Rheumatology at the Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine, University of Leeds, added that “This new contract also discriminates against those who take time out for maternity leave or similar career breaks and those who work flexibly.”

Not all messages left to the Guardian where negative, with a Foundation Year 2 doctor, saying that the new system “attempts to address this by applying a more nuanced payment structure. In this new system some will lose out, but others will gain.”

The full responses can be seen at:

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