On 24th September 2016, British Medical Association (BMA) has announced that junior doctors in England has suspended all planned five day strikes, following concerns over patient safety. It has called off all strikes which were due to take place in October 5-7and 10-11, November 14 -18 and December 5-9, in protest against a new contract of junior doctors.
The decision to call of five-day strikes was made after the Junior Doctors Committee (JDC) elected a new leadership team, with Ellen McCourt retaining her position as chair.
BMA and the government remain at loggerheads over the junior doctors new contract, which the Department of Health says will support to deliver a seven-day NHS.
Six strikes have already taken place across the England which causes trouble to thousands of patients who have had appointments and operations cancelled.
Chair of the BMA junior doctor committee, Dr Ellen McCourt said the latest decision to call of junior doctors strikes had been taken in light of feedback from patients, doctors and the public and following a thoughtful, passionate and wide-ranging debate amongst junior doctors.
She added junior doctor committee still resist the imposition of the contract and are now planning different actions. However, patient safety is primary concern of doctors so, it is listening and responding to concern about the ability of the NHS to maintain a safe service. Junior doctor committee hope the government will grab this opportunity to engage with junior doctors and listen to the voices from across the NHS raising anxieties about doctors' working lives and the impact of the contract on patient care.
Commenting on the planned walkout action earlier this week, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the junior doctors' argument is unethical to potentially harm to patients in search of what is a self-interested campaign.
A spokesperson from Department of Health added that BMA should put patients on first priority without playing politics.
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