The British Medical Association (BMA) junior doctors' committee has removed all the threat of strike action and pledged to work with the Government on their new contract.
The committee announced that it would change direction and “re-engage with NHS leaders and politicians” over implementation of the new contract. This announcement means junior doctors could not legally take any more industrial action without a fresh ballot of its members.
The junior doctor contract has been the subject to unpleasant dispute between the government and the BMA. The contract dispute led to 5 walkouts and the cancellation of more than 100,000 operations and outpatient appointments so far this year.
The announcement comes a week after the Dr Ellen McCourt resigned from her post saying it had become clear to her that the position of junior leader was “untenable”. Dr McCourt was replaced by her deputy Dr Pete Campbell, a Momentum supporter, who is interim chairman until another election for the post.
The government welcomed the decision of the BMA but not all junior doctors are happy about the decision. The Junior Doctors Alliance (JDA), a pressure group believes that the BMA should take further action to resist imposition of the contract.
A spokesman for the JDA said the new move of BMA was “unacceptable” and taken without any discussion with the mass membership of thousands of junior doctors who voted to reject the revised contract. There is no doubt that many doctors were losing trust in the BMA.
Dr Peter Campbell, the interim chair of the JDC said the junior doctors' committee wanted to work on safeguarding a fair approach to weekend pay and the safety of doctors and patients under the new contract.
A spokesperson from Department of Health said that the BMA has now completely called off industrial action and it is welcome news for patients. The National Health Service (NHS) is getting on with the job of implementing the junior doctor’s new contract and the department of health are determined to ensure junior doctors are supported during this process.
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