Norman Lamb: Junior doctors can’t all be dismissed as militants


Junior doctors are to hold three more one-day strikes. The British Medical Association, which represents the doctors, has also announced that it is seeking a judicial review into the imposition of the new contract because the government failed to carry out an equalities impact study.

Norman Lamb has added his voice to the debate:

Jeremy Hunt was wrong to impose new contracts on Junior Doctors, when there is clearly still huge opposition to its terms. These planned strikes heighten the risk junior doctors will leave the NHS in their droves and work abroad decimating our health service. Both sides need to get back round the negotiating table and hammer out a contract which works for patient safety.

The bottom line is that the NHS is operating under unsustainable pressure and this dispute is yet another symptom of that. The Government has to recognise that there is something badly wrong when the vast majority of junior doctors support continue strike action. They can’t all be dismissed as militants and the claim that they have been misled won’t wash. It provides yet more evidence of the case for a cross party commission aimed at achieving a long term settlement for the NHS and the care system.