Jeremy Hunt has become the most hated politician in the United Kingdom, with almost 300,000 people calling for a Vote of No Confidence in an online petition. It is all over his decision to force a new contract on junior doctors, making Saturday a normal working day.
The battle between Hunt and the junior doctors has been ongoing for months now, with many of the UK citizens claiming he is forcing a way to privatise the National Health Service (NHS). Part of the changes to contracts include making Saturdays a regular working day and changing unsociable working hours so junior doctors are working more hours for less pay. Junior doctors have been on strike due to the proposed changes, and now morale is low as the contract is being forced onto them.
This is the first doctors strike on the NHS in decades. Hunt also called paramedics “Ambulance Drivers,” effectively diminishing the work that they do. He also told people that they could help the drain on the health service by Googling images and symptoms before calling the 24 hour helpline 111, something doctors claimed was irresponsible and could lead to more issues.
The Conservative Government had said in its manifesto before the May elections last year that it wanted to make the NHS a 24 hour service. However, many junior doctors are already working 50+ hours a week, and morale is now dropping as making Saturday a regular working day would mean a lower salary. Currently, doctors are paid extra for working weekends and late night shifts, as they are classed as unsociable working hours.
The junior doctors are now threatening to leave the UK, with 200 already applying for work abroad. Many consider Australia and New Zealand as better places to work. The Daily Mail reports that losing just half of doctors issues certificates in 2015 would mean a £1.5bn loss for the UK taxpayers. It costs £350,000 to train doctors over the course of eight years. Doctor strikes have also cancelled 7,000 operations due to strikes.
With the current petition at over 100,000 signatures, it must be discussed in Parliament. There is no confirmation over when this will take place yet, or whether the members of the public will get the outcome they desire.
The Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/over-55000-sign-petition-calling-for-a-vote-of-no-confidence-in-health-secretary-jeremy-hunt-a6869556.html
The Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3443298/Flight-striking-junior-doctors-Hunt-imposes-new-contracts-200-week-applying-easier-life-abroad.html
Images from Twitter: The Independent Twitter Feed (https://twitter.com/Independent/status/699206121773535232) and The Mirror Politics Twitter Feed (https://twitter.com/MirrorPolitics/status/699219501783650304)
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