Jeremy Hunt’s decision to impose a contract on junior doctors is provocative and damaging. Rather than helping to resolve this difficult dispute, his action will only inflame it.
The BMA has continued to table proposals to settle the dispute. The fact that the Health Secretary is now simply trying to impose his will rather than negotiate, demonstrates a lack of confidence in his own arguments.
We need to recognise the huge contribution junior doctors make and the years of training they go through to look after us. These are people dedicated to our health and our NHS.
Patients, doctors, the BMA and the public want an agreed settlement. What is now keeping this dispute going are the actions of the Secretary of State himself.
More strikes now look likely. If that happens, it will be clear that the blame lies with the government, not the doctors.
Even at this late stage, I appeal to Jeremy Hunt to go back and negotiate with the BMA.
This government is reckless with our NHS and is now prepared to put patient care at risk in the service of its self-defeating austerity programme.