The new contract proposed by government for junior doctors has been voted to reject by junior doctors and medical students across England.
In May 2016, the detail of offered new terms and conditions for junior doctors was summarized after ACAS talks between the government and the British Medical Association (BMA).
Junior doctors, final and penultimate year medical students are members of the BMA. So, the BMA voted in a referendum in order to decide whether to accept the contract or not.
In the referendum, 58 per cent voted against the new contract for junior doctors and 42 per cent voted for accepting them. The referendum had attendance of 68%- about 37,000 eligible junior doctors and medical students for the voting.
After the result of the referendum, Dr Johann Malawana, BMA junior doctor committee chair announced that he will stand down from his position and describe his position was "untenable". He thanked BMA members and colleagues for supporting junior doctors in his resignation letter. A new chair for BMA junior doctor committee will be elected soon.
Dr Johann said that vote result is clear and the government must respect the decision made by junior doctors. Every new contract will affect a generation of doctors employed in England for the National Health Service (NHS).
He added it was clear by taking to many junior doctors across the country that some doctors felt the new contract denoted an enhanced offer; others had uncertainties about what it would mean for their working lives, patients and future delivery of care in the NHS. These anxieties need to be completely concentrated before any new contract comes into effect.
He also said that in order to rebuild trust there are many things to do. Now the government must do the right thing, support the result of this vote and work positively with the BMA to tackle junior doctors’ concerns with the new contract.