Former Conservative Health Minister Dr. Dan Poulter said the Tory Government’s proposal for junior doctors could mean trouble for patients.
The once-Health Minister explained:
“There was … a recognition by the Department of Health that now appears to have been lost: that better pay and work-life balance incentives were needed to ensure doctors were attracted to A&E and other gruelling specialities.”
Junior doctors are facing proposed pay cuts. But Dr. Poulter said it is more than just money. The contract forced doctors to work excessive hours where fatigue could compromise the quality of their professional integrity.
Working for 12 hours for seven days, the human body could start to feel fatigue settle in.
Dr. Poulter said the government’s original platform, which was to achieve a good work-life balance, is being offset by its interest to save more than £22 billion from the health industry. According to the former Health Minister, the Junior Doctors’ working conditions and pay were “ways to close the gap” that is both unjustified and unfair.
However, the UK Department of Health said Dr. Poulter’s interpretation is widely erroneous.
A spokesman said:
“Our proposals will mean average pay will not go down and there is no intention to increase working hours,” a spokesman said.
“In fact, we want to offer more safeguards over total hours worked for junior doctors than ever before.
“We call on the Junior Doctors Committee to re-enter negotiations and work with us to put in place a new contract that’s safe for patients and fair for doctors.”