St Helens South and Whiston MP, Marie Rimmer has spoken out against proposed government changes to Junior Doctors’ contracts that critics believe would be dangerous for patients and unfair to doctors.
Criticising the safety implications of the proposals Marie went on to say: “I do not want to go back to the old days, when a junior doctor told me he fell asleep while with a patient. Another junior doctor was killed in a car crash on the way home after working for nearly 30 hours without a break.”
There has been a significant debate over pay plans, with the British Medical Association (BMA) claiming the new contracts could result in pay cuts of 30%. Marie warned Ministers that the plans risk many local doctors leaving the UK as other countries offer fairer pay.
Highlighting the case of Elizabeth, a junior doctor at Whiston Hospital who would be penalised by the plans, Marie said: “Other countries, such as Australia, can offer a better quality of life compared with what the new proposals mean for her. Given the very real prospect that she might default on her mortgage, she would have no choice but to move abroad with her family.”
The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt MP, has stated that Junior Doctors will not lose out financially under the new plans but the Government however the BMA has welcomed these assurances with caution.
Speaking after the debate, Marie said: “I welcome the Health Secretary’s shift following pressure from campaigners and medical organisations. With junior doctors set to ballot on strike action from Thursday (5th November) it is vital that the Health Secretary engages with the BMA and brings fair and sensible proposals back to the table.”