Jeremy Hunt has made comments that some of the of the British Medical Association’s membership (the doctors’ trade union) are using the junior doctor standoff as an opportunity to score political points against the Conservative Party. He said:-
“Of course it’s a concern if some elements within the BMA are seeing this as a political opportunity to bash a Tory government that they hate. I am sure the vast majority of doctors are not in that place.”
In response the BMA have accused the health secretary of attempting to deflect from the fundamental loss of trust between junior doctors and government. The BMA has always described itself as a union without political ties and any assertion that any of it membership was placing political success over patient safety was wide of the mark.
Junior doctors are poised to strike on Tuesday in what will be the first action of its kind by junior doctors for over 30 years. It will mean that junior doctors will only provide emergency support from 8am on Tuesday for 24 hours. The same would occur for 48 hours beginning on 26 January with a final comprehensive strike with no support on 10 February between 8am and 5pm.