Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Monday, July 5, 1999 Published at 18:23 GMT 19:23 UK


Junior doctors speak out

Junior doctors are threatening strike action

The government should end the practice of paying junior doctors less than their normal rate for overtime, a conference will hear.

Junior doctors, who are on the verge of industrial action, will dominate the agenda on day two of the British Medical Association's Annual Representative Meeting.

They will also seek the meeting's approval for its ballot on whether or not to take industrial action.

Also up for discussion is the government's refusal to implement a £50m pay package to consultants, even though their pay review body recommended it.

Militant moves

Junior doctors are paid in what are called additional duty hours for the time they spend on duty over and above their contracted hours.

Last month, the BMA's junior doctors committee (JDC) voted to ballot on whether or not to take industrial action.

They were upset about the poor pay and conditions they have to tolerate.

One example of the absurdity of their overtime pay they gave at the time was that those working over the millennium are going to be paid less than the hospital cleaners.

Dr Andrew Hobart, the chairman of the JDC, will also present the meeting with his annual report of what has been a turbulent year.

He said: "We don't want to have to go down the path of industrial action, but if we have to, we will.

"One in four doctors are still not working under the hours agreed by the New Deal in 1991.

"After a night on call, I still cannot get a hot meal at 2am and I have to go and sleep in a bed where the sheets have not been changed from the previous occupant."

The JDC has set a deadline of September for negotiations with the Government to succeed.

Pay pressure

Consultants will attack the government for failing to cough up the extra £50m recommended by their pay review body.

Speaking on Monday, Dr Peter Hawker, chairman of the BMA's central consultants and specialists committee, said the government had been less than truthful about the affair.

"The government told the media - and Parliament - it had implemented the review body's recommendations in full. It has not.

"We will be ensuring that the government's minor divergence from the truth will be corrected over the next few months."

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Health Contents

Background Briefings
Medical notes

Relevant Stories

05 Jul 99†|†Health
Doctors sick of ministers' medicine

04 Jul 99†|†Health
Virtual debate on doctor-assisted suicides

05 Jul 99†|†Health
GPs to continue meningitis vaccine fight

05 Jul 99†|†Health
NHS under threat - doctors' leader

05 Jul 99†|†Health
Doctors reject patient charges

Internet Links

British Medical Association

Department of Health

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Disability in depth

Spotlight: Bristol inquiry

Antibiotics: A fading wonder

Mental health: An overview

Alternative medicine: A growth industry

The meningitis files

Long-term care: A special report

Aids up close

From cradle to grave

NHS reforms: A guide

NHS Performance 1999

From Special Report
NHS in crisis: Special report

British Medical Association conference '99

Royal College of Nursing conference '99