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Saturday, 7 April, 2001, 23:45 GMT 00:45 UK
Young doctors 'burning out'
Juniors meal
The BMA says junior doctors are under too much pressure
Britain's junior doctors have been told not to risk their health and family lives by working too hard.

The chairman of the BMA, Dr Ian Bogle, says that many feel "embittered" at their workload and are in danger of burning out.

The BMA's Junior Doctors' Forum in Brighton this weekend is offering parenting skills courses to try to improve doctors' domestic circumstances.

Although the government has introduced measures to reduce the overall number of hours worked by junior doctors, many are still working more than 54 hours a week.

Dr Bogle said: "It worries and saddens me that so many young doctors, who only a few years ago were fired up with enthusiasm for medicine, feel burned out, disillusioned and even embittered by the relentless pressure they face and the blame culture they work in."

A recent BMA survey revealed that many doctors who graduated in 1995 were now hoping to leave the profession.

GP boycott

The BMA's call for doctors to cut their workload extends to family doctors as well.

On Friday, the organisation advised GPs to only selectively implement the government's national service frameworks - strategies to improve heart care, care of the elderly and mental health services.

The BMA claims the paperwork involved in implementing the frameworks impacts on the amount of time doctors spend with their patients.

The BMA's GPs Committee said: "Despite repeated warnings, the government has continued to introduce developments, which both by their nature and the pace of their introduction, make demands on general practice that it is unable to deliver in a safe and effective manner."

But a spokesman for the Department of Health said: "GPs have been involved in shaping all the national service frameworks published to date.

"We believe that the majority of GPs will wish to work towards implementing the standards."

See also:

19 Mar 01 | Health
23 Feb 01 | Health
17 Jan 00 | Health
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