As requested, ages ago, by @srush - sorry, have found this all a bit too disheartening to respond until now!
  1. I really wish I wasn't writing this
  2. Junior doctors in England have held two 24-hour strikes over the last two months
  3. We're in a pretty vicious dispute with the Government over our new contracts
  4. And it just keeps getting worse
  5. The Conservative Government promised in the run-up to the last election that they would make the National Health Service a seven-day service, with exactly the same staffing and routine services on the weekend as the rest of the week
  6. They didn't cost it
  7. They didn't say how they'd staff it
  8. They just promised
  9. So instead of putting more money into the NHS
  10. (And they will say that they've pledged £10 billion over the next five years...
  11. ...but that's to be offset by £22 billion in 'efficiency savings'...
  12. it's actually effectively a £12 billion cut)
  13. They're trying to save money by reclassifying Saturday as a normal working day
  14. That way we don't get paid extra for working Saturdays
  15. 'Antisocial hours' - for which we get premium pay - also now start at 10pm on a weekday instead of 7pm
  16. Because obviously working at 9:30pm is totally sociable and standard for all working people
  17. Just ask anyone with school-age children
  18. Now obviously, junior doctors (which refers to anyone in training, so people from their early 20s into their 30s and 40s) already work nights, evenings and weekends
  19. We know it's part of the job
  20. But trying to sell them as normal working hours and paying us less for them is offensive
  21. That's not the primary issue, though
  22. It's annoying, but it's not why we're on strike
  23. The primary issue is patient safety
  24. The government is trying to stretch an already stretched 5-day service to cover seven days, with no more funding or staff
  25. That is inherently dangerous
  26. It's bad for training
  27. It's bad for continuity of care
  28. And the new rotas developed to go with the contract - a constant stream of alternating long days and nights, with minimal recovery time in between - are dangerous for doctors and for patients
  29. So that's why, when strike number three starts tomorrow, I'll be out there with my colleagues on the picket line
  30. Because I care too much about my patients to allow this to happen
  31. It might be too late, though
  32. After the last strike, the Health Secretary announced that he was giving up on negotiations and was just going to impose the contract in August
  33. I'm not sure there's anything we can really do about it
  34. There's nowhere else we can do our training in this country
  35. I guess we could move to Scotland
  36. Or Australia
  37. Or give it all up and work in a cake shop
  38. But we're not going to
  39. So all we can do is try
  40. And hope
  41. And stand together
  42. Static