Press Release: No Doctor Wants to Strike but the NHS is at stake

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[Tuesday 26 April 2016]

No doctor wants to strike, but they have been given no choice by intransigent politicians.  Keep Our NHS Public (KONP) stands firmly with the junior doctors who are striking today and tomorrow. The responsibility for the strikes lies firmly with Jeremy Hunt, who has rejected a cross-party plan to avert strike action, and David Cameron who has told Hunt to stand firm against the doctors. They both clearly relish this fight, and in doing so are shamelessly putting politics before patient safety.

The NHS is now facing a crisis, brought about by this government. Last year 70,000 routine operations were cancelled due to NHS underfunding. Staff are struggling to maintain the service in the face of cuts and closures and it is the same NHS staff who are left fighting for the long term interests of patients. The junior doctors are in the front line of this fight and if they lose so will all other NHS staff and their patients.

Keep Our NHS Public Co-Chair, Dr Tony O’Sullivan:

“Hunt has lied about the background to this dispute, as there is no evidence to link junior doctor rotas to the ‘weekend effect’. He is ignoring the evidence, the advice of the medical royal colleges and other doctors’ leaders and public opinion by refusing to negotiate. He must put patients first, stop political point scoring and return to the negotiating table.

 “A government that refuses to negotiate a contract with this skilled and vital medical workforce  has lost all credibility. What this government cannot avoid is its own direct responsibility. We blame Hunt and Cameron, and them alone, for the consequences of this bitter industrial dispute. Meanwhile, the BMA along with consultants and specialty doctors in England, have planned together and organised responsibly with NHS trusts to provide safe emergency cover during this strike period.

“We stand with the junior doctors and the BMA, and our KONP supporters are on the picket lines up and down the country.”



Editors’ Notes

Keep Our NHS Public was formed in 2005 and has a broad-based, public membership. There are 65 local groups, plus a national association. It has the explicit aim of countering marketisation [1,2] and privatisation of the NHS by campaigning for a publicly funded, publicly provided and publicly accountable NHS, available to all on the basis of clinical need. It is opposed to cuts in service which run counter to these principles. Further details:

KONP’s Campaigns and Press Officer is Alan Taman:

07870 757 309

[email protected]

[email protected]


Facebook: Keep-Our-NHS-Public


[1] Davis, J., Lister, J. and Wrigely, D. (2015) NHS For Sale. London: Merlin Press.

Leys, C. and Player, S. (2011) The Plot Against the NHS. Pontypool: Merlin

Lister, J. (2008) The NHS After 60: For Patients or Profits? London: Middlesex University Press

Owen, D. (2014) The Health of the Nation: The NHS in Peril. York: Methuen, Chapter 4.

Player, S. (2013) ‘Ready for market’. In NHS SOS ed by Davis, J. and Tallis, R. London: Oneworld, pp.38-61.


[2] The belief that ‘competition is always best’ does not work when applied to healthcare. A comprehensive and universal health service is best funded by public donation, which has been shown to be far more efficient overall than private-insurance healthcare models

[Davis, J., Lister, J. and Wrigley, D. (2015) NHS For Sale. London: Merlin Press. Chapters 2 and 8.

Lister, J. (2013) Health Policy Reform: global health versus private profit. Libri: Faringdon.

Pollock, A. and Price, D. (2013) In NHS SOS, ed by Davis, J. and Tallis, R. Oneworld: London, 174.]

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