Junior doctors could quit after contract imposition, says leading GP trainee

A leading GP trainee has accused the government of bullying and intimidating junior doctors after Jeremy Hunt said he would impose a contract the profession has said is unfair and unsafe, and warned many could now quit medicine.

Dr Bea Bakshi: junior doctors could quit
Dr Bea Bakshi: junior doctors could quit

North-west London registrar and GPC GP trainee subcommittee member Dr Bea Bakshi told GPonline she was ‘deeply shocked and saddened’ by the government’s approach.

Mr Hunt’s actions were to ‘bully, intimidate and scare doctors into subordination’, she added.

Junior doctors and supporters descended on DH headquarters in Whitehall and the Conservative party offices at Millbank yesterday evening to protest at Mr Hunt’s decision to impose the new terms and conditions.

Video: Dr Bea Bakshi on why junior doctor strikes were key for GPs' future

The announcement on Thursday provoked a furious reaction from junior doctors, doctors’ leaders and other healthcare professionals.

The BMA said junior doctors 'will not accept' the new contract and said it would consider its options, raising the possibility of further industrial action.

Mr Hunt told MPs the government had been willing to be flexible over the last sticking point of Saturday pay but the BMA was no longer willing to compromise.

The health secretary said: 'Our strong preference was for a negotiated solution. Our door remained open for three years, and we demonstrated time and again our willingness to negotiate with the BMA on the concerns that they raised.

'However, the definition of a negotiation is a discussion where both sides demonstrate flexibility and compromise on their original objectives, and the BMA ultimately proved unwilling to do this.'

Dr Bakshi said: ‘With a heavy heart we have seen our doctors, our professionals, demoralised, devalued, attacked and vilified by a government who does not understand patients, does not understand our vocation and does not understand how you deliver a safe NHS.

Read more: Jeremy Hunt's full statement

She added: ‘We risk seeing doctors leaving the profession permanently in the middle of a staffing crisis, the NHS will be brought to its knees. We will stand strong and united to fight this imposition. We will never compromise on the safety of our patients and the future of our NHS.’

On Twitter GPs reported trainees and medical students already considering a change of career in response to the imposition.

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