Junior Doctors left “at a loss for what to do” in wake of Sheffield strike

By Sheena Sidhu

@Sheenasidhu

Junior doctors have been left “at a loss for what to do” after learning that they will be forced into what they feel is an unfair contract the day after industrial action.

Just one day after protesters lined the streets in front of various hospitals in Sheffield, including Weston Park hospital, the Royal Hallamshire Hospital and the Northern General hospital, a new contract was announced.

The new contract would alter the definition of antisocial hours and make it cheaper for hospitals to roster doctors on evenings and weekends.

However, doctors feel as though the changes would prevent those in the profession from receiving the adequate pay for the most difficult work.

Josh Griffiths, 24, a junior doctor in Sheffield, said: “In what way, shape or form is it fair to cut the pay of those who are working the hardest?

“Working on the weekends used to be going the extra mile, now it seems like it’s becoming the norm.”

Last week’s strike was part of a nationwide industrial action by the British Medical Association, after doctors voted by over 98 percent in favour of action.

The new deal is meant to come into effect in August of this year.

It is part of a step towards the Conservative Party’s proposed plan to introduce a seven-day NHS.

In effect, doctors have to either sign it or leave the profession.

Robert Chan, 21, who is currently studying medicine at the University of Sheffield said that the new deal was “completely demotivating” for those currently training to be doctors.

“I’m at a complete loss as to what we are supposed to do now. On one hand we’ve already committed to this profession but on the other hand we’re now being completely taken advantage of,” he said.

 

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