The proposed changes to the junior doctor contracts has been a major topic of conversation recently, especially around the medical school. These changes have evoked fear and outrage for medical students, junior doctors and senior doctors, as well as for other healthcare professionals and the general public.
There are lots of arguments going around about money for junior doctors and respect, however, my main concern (and the concern of most people) is patient safety.
It is already scary to think that personally, I am only a few years away from having responsibility over somebody’s life and wellbeing. Junior doctors already have to learn on the job and there is so much we may get wrong due to lack of experience. It is so common for junior doctors to make errors, as we are all human -however these are people’s lives we are talking about! Therefore if they now make junior doctors work for longer and at unsociable times, of course they are going to be more tired and more prone to making mistakes! Who will suffer most? The patients! When who matters the most? The patients!
As a medical student, this scares me as I never want to harm a patient and always want to be providing the best care! But as a patient myself and thinking about my friends and family, this scares me even more! I strongly believe that this is an issue that affects every single person in the UK, as we all rely on the NHS for healthcare. The NHS is such an amazing concept -that there can be equality in healthcare for everybody, and this healthcare should always be high quality and safe for all patients. Unfortunately, I think that all of the changes are going to reduce safety and equality of healthcare. There are changes other than the junior doctor contracts, like changing the point of a doctor’s full registration, which are also going to be detrimental to the smooth running of the NHS.
It’s not about doctors being greedy for money, it’s about safety! This video made by a junior doctor sums it up perfectly:
Here is a petition that has been going around- I really think the more signatures they get the better for everyone! The junior doctors have been putting up a good fight and support from everyone is the way a change may actually be seen!