First we had Jeremy Hunt, speaking directly on The Andrew Marr Show, making very direct statements and accusing the BMA of misleading the doctors and public. He suggested the only sticking point was Saturday pay rates.
Secondly, we had Ben Gummer MP, directly answering questions in the House of Commons. Gummer went even further than Hunt in his criticism of the BMA. He also stated that Sir David Dalton confirmed the only remaining issue with the new contract was Saturday pay rates.
The BMA response was a series of articles in Left-wing rags, such as the Daily Mirror, in which ‘sources close to the BMA’ were quoted, as if this was a credible way to offer ‘facts’.
The 2nd strike went ahead, the public outrage being fuelled by the constant ‘patient safety’ rhetoric being facilitated by the media. This is totally misguided, since all patient safety issues have been agreed. There only remains the Saturday pay rate issue, but UK media seemed not to have any desire for specifics, preferring the government-bashing opportunity.
Now, a letter has emerged, from Sir David Dalton, to Jeremy Hunt. In this letter, Sir David lays out the current state of negotiations with the BMA and he clearly states that the only remaining issue to be resolved is Saturday pay rates.
I fully supported the Junior Doctors in their 1st strike, assuming that patient safety was indeed their point of contention. Now I see it as merely a propaganda tool, used to sway an unsuspecting public.
The blame, if blame needs to be apportioned, needs directed towards the BMA. The BMA is nothing but a politically slanted organisation, no longer fit for the purpose of looking after doctors’ interests.