Earlier today I spoke with a medical student, Michael, asking him his thoughts on the imposition of the junior doctors contract.
“Stephen, I’m well thanks (though been better!) It’s a bad day, not just because the contract is set to apply to all junior doctors from August, but because it sets a precedent for the government to ignore the views of an entire workforce and force through a flawed contract condemned by all. That is bound to affect the dynamic, both within the NHS and between the public sector and the government, in a very serious and negative way. Medical students are demoralised. My colleagues and I have our final exams in a month’s time; what better way to motivate bright young minds than to impose unsafe, unfair working conditions just as they reach their biggest hurdle to entering what was once a respected profession?”
It’s a polite response, but it cannot hide the disappointment shared by all those who are fighting to save the NHS. Mr. Hunt’s insistence at forcing this contract is seen as nothing more than a diktat on an already overstretched, demoralised workforce. We’re asking how many existing junior doctors will leave the profession because of this imposition. We should also be concerned about how many medical students will turn their back on their once chosen profession, because of the actions of a failed marmalade exporter.