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[英伦广角] 2016-10-01 英国初级医生罢工抗议待遇过低

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“Save our NHS, save our NHS.”

In medical terms, the condition of the fight by junior doctors to stop the new contracts may not be terminal, but it’s certainly worsened overnight. Months of campaigning and industrial actions has already seen a series of one-day strikes in hospitals, and was to be stepped up in the form of three five-day walkouts in October, November and December. But patients, the public and doctors have voiced concerns of patients’ safety, and strikes have been suspended.  

“The BMA Junior Doctors Committee has met and considered feedback from junior doctors, from patients and from the public. They felt that the strike action was unlikely to be safe, that the NHS was unable to cope. And although we have ongoing and serious concerns with the contract, patients’ safety is always our primary concern, and so we have decided to suspend the industrial action.”

The Department of Health says: “We welcome the news that the strikes have been suspended, and commend the leadership of Dr. McCourt. The best way to rebuild trust now is for industrial action to be called off permanently in the interest of patients - and we urge the BMA to do so.”

The announcement removed the threat of up to 6,000 operations being canceled on each of the 15 days of industrial action, but some in the NHS still fear problems in the longer term if the contracts are implemented.

“It will X mean in the short term that there won’t be cancellations of procedures and operations and disruption, but in the long term, the concern, of course from the BMA and the junior doctors particularly and other NHS staff is that this contract will endanger patient’s safety because you are stretching...most importantly, you are stretching five days into a seven-day NHS without any extra resources or funding or stuff.”  

Patient groups will support the removal of the threat of strike action, and the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health agrees. It says: “The country can be proud of the junior doctors’ mature, compassionate and principal determination during this damaging dispute. We’ve been calling for both sides to get back to the negotiating table and end the deadlock of the past months.”  

But despite this latest back down, the junior doctors say the fight does not end here, and haven’t as yet, ruled out the possibility of more industrial action int he future.

Frieza Mod, Sky News.
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