Junior Doctors Strike: 'Theresa May should sack Jeremy Hunt', says GP

Junior Doctors Strike: 'Theresa May should sack Jeremy Hunt', says GP

Junior doctors will hold five days of industrial action later in September, which endangers 100,000 operations

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Prime Minister needs to replace Jeremy Hunt as Health Secretary with someone who offers "a fresh view", according to a GP and London Assembly member.

This follows the announcement that the British Medical Association (BMA) has given approval for junior doctors to hold five days of industrial action.

It's the latest turn in a long-running dispute over a new contract being imposed on them by the Department of Health. The strikes will endanger up to 100,000 operations. 

Hunt has accused Junior doctors of instigating "the worst strike in NHS history" in response to the BMA's announcement. However Dr. Onkar Sahota, who practises in West London and is a Labour member of London's Assembly for Ealing and Hillingdon, was adamant negotiations over the contract needed a fresh view.

"I think any industrial action is a very unwelcome cause," he told Julia Hartley-Brewer. "This is certainly a failure, and the crisis has been increased because there's been a forced premise. 

"They've said this contract is required to deliver the seven-day NHS. Everyone wants a seven-day NHS. We do have this at the moment, but the level of services they want to provide requires more funding and staff in the system, which we don't have. 

"We've had a leak from the Department of Health only a few weeks back which said the civil servants - who are meant to be coming up with these polices - have their own concerns about the seven-day NHS given the funding cuts and lack of doctors. 

"The Health Secretary didn't say to the electorate he would deliver a seven-day NHS by cutting public funding and demoralising the workforce. To deliver this, he needs to put more money into the system, more doctors, keeping morale up and making sure this is a safe NHS. 

"Theresa May should sack Jeremy Hunt as Health Secretary and bring someone with a fresh view to deal with the junior doctors."