'The contract was unethical', says Dr Hamed Khan on junior doctor vote

'The relationship around the BMA and the government was really sub-optimal to put it mildly', says Dr Hamed Khan

Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt has come under fire from junior doctors

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Junior doctors have voted against a new contract, and Dr Hamed Khan believes their concerns were correct.

British Medical Association (BMA) members voted 58 per cent to 42 per cent against the contract. The BMA's junior doctor leader Johann Malawana resigned following the result.

"There seem to be a number of issues that they were concerned about and their concerns seem to be fairly legitimate," Dr Khan told Sam Delaney.

"A lot of junior doctors do locum shifts, these locum shifts are very important, they keep A and E departments running. 

"This contract basically dictated that junior doctors would have to offer their services to locum in the hospital that they're working at, which may be far away or where the junior does not want to work. It would have to be at a capped rate.

"It was unethical and it would also make the situation of staffing worse.

"A lot of people thought this mechanism [for overworking] was far flimsier than the current mechanism that exists, and it's very important we have a robust mechanism to ensure our doctors aren't overworked.

"In the previous contract there were pay increases in accordance with seniority and the level of responsibility, particularly after the third year of training, that has now gone."

The lecturer at St George's, University of London, also commented on health secretary Jeremy Hunt, with whom the BMA agreed the contract now voted against.

"We know that Jeremy Hunt used words like radicalised for the BMA and militant doctors, he spoke about using a nuclear option, so really the rapport and relationship around the BMA and the government was really sub-optimal to put it mildly."

"BMA did their best and this is the best they could get, but that's a different question to whether this deal is still acceptable and legitimate."