Jeremy Hunt has ‘torn up’ the social contract between junior doctors and the state and ‘created an irreversible breakdown in trust’, according to a Guardian article.
Dr Clive Peedell, consultant oncologist and member of the BMA Council, claims that the current dispute over the junior doctors’ contract is ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’.
Writing for the Guardian, Dr Peedell states: ‘The government has had a clear agenda to force junior doctors into working more hours for less pay, to help deliver its nonsensical “seven-day NHS” manifesto pledge in the face of a £22bn NHS efficiency savings programme.’
He added: ‘Hunt won’t be forgiven for breaking the bond of trust with the medical profession and destroying the social contract. If he continues with his plans to impose the contract, there is no doubt that there will be an exodus of junior doctors.’
Dr Peedell concluded: ‘The only solution is for Hunt to resign and for David Cameron to appoint a new health secretary prepared to re-enter proper negotiations with the British Medical Association. That is the only possible way to rebuild trust and deliver a renewed social contract.’
The news comes as Royal College leaders have stated their concerns over the detrimental effects that the ongoing dispute is having on the medical profession.
Professor Neena Modi, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health stated earlier in the week: ‘The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health is deeply concerned by the ongoing dispute … over junior doctor contracts.’ She added: ‘We urge Government and the British Medical Association to break the current impasse, define terms that enable them to return to the negotiating table and agree a contract that is safe for sick children, fair to junior doctors and sustains our NHS.’
Dr Maureen Baker, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: ‘As the UK’s largest medical Royal College representing over 50,000 family doctors, we are extremely concerned that the ongoing disagreement between the Government and junior doctors threatens to destabilise the NHS and poses a risk to safe patient care.’ She also commented: ‘Junior doctors choose medical training because they want to care for patients and contribute to the NHS. They should be allowed to do this without fear for their own financial futures and the safety of generations of patients who will be reliant on them.’