Northwick Park Hospital’s junior doctors to stage first walk-out
- Credit: Supplied by Dr Bhavagaya Baksh
More than 100 junior doctors serving Northwick Park Hospital are staging a 24 hour strike from tomorrow morning.
A picket line and demonstration will start at the hospital in Watford Road at 8am followed by a march to Harrow town centre at 2pm.
Junior doctors are arguing that new contracts proposed by Minister for Health Jeremy Hunt towards a seven-day working week will force them to work longer hours with no extra pay.
Junior doctors will provide ‘emergency care only’ for 24 hours starting at mid-night tonight.
A full walk-out is planned from 8am until 5pm on December 8 and again a week later on December 16.
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Bhavagaya Bakshi, GP registrar at Northwick Park Hospital, said: “The government is gambling with patients lives in order to fulfil their agenda and we are really concerned safety is being overlooked here and patient safety is going to be at risk.
“We don’t have enough doctors in the workforce at the moment and because they don’t want to recruit more, they are making the existing doctors work more hours to fulfil their own agenda.
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“In doing so we’ll be working really long shifts and dangerously long hours from up to 15 hours days and 98 hours weeks without the safeguards that were previously in place contractually to make sure that we’re not working beyond safe working limits.”
The British Medical Association and government officials have resumed talks today to avert the strikes following three days of negotiations last week.
Dr Bakshi added: “We are speaking to ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) but the government has said that it still wants to impose the contract whether we speak to ACAS or not. The imposition is going to happen in August 2016 and it will affect all current 53,000 junior doctors, 53,000 and new doctors coming in indefinitely. This is high stakes.
“If we’re going to have a meaningful negotiation you’d have to remove the imposition and say you genuinely want to listen to us.”
The Department of Health has been contacted.