So, the strike went well, I’m told. Rumour has it that there were no junior doctors and the consultants had to do the routine and emergency work without the help of the juniors.
Think again. A number of juniors are not in the BMA. They can’t strike partly because they are afraid of losing their visas or their jobs. This meant that there were juniors working on both strike days. Elective work was cancelled – consultants can’t be in two places at once and there is no one available to look after the operated patients during the night. The Trusts won’t pay for consultants to sleep in, to truly cover the absence of the younger doctors anyway. But… the juniors were covering emergencies between 5 pm and 8 am in any case. They just had to do the day's work after 5.
Why did the juniors modify the strike to make it safe?
It’s because they are DOCTORS.
Unlike politicians they have integrity and they are in this job to care for you, Joe Public. I think (my personal view) that if you want to do a job then do it in a fully committed way. If you’re going on strike then do it. I believe all UK doctors should resign at once or withdraw their labour completely. The doctors did this in Australia (I think). The strike lasted four hours. Justice prevailed.
In this country however, the medical profession have traditionally never taken concerted action and stuck together. Things became worse when Margaret Thatcher thrust consultants into management roles. It was a clever ploy to pit doctor against doctor and allow the government to sit back and avoid the ‘shroud waving’ which had hitherto been the doctors’ only way of pressurising the government into providing resources.
If the juniors really want to make progress they have to enlist the main body of consultants and GPs. All the doctors should work together and allow the government to reap what they have sown. Yes, people will suffer but it won’t be because of the doctors. It will be because slimy politicians are using the integrity of the medical profession against the doctors themselves. It is an abuse and it is immoral.It is what they do to policemen, except in the doctor's case it is self-impose because of moral responsibility not the law.
When will we take a leaf out of the miner’s book and fight back together?
All doctors should withdraw their labour at once. Jeremy *unt can then take responsibility for the consequences.
Phew! I feel better for that!