PRESS RELEASE – Running Down the NHS: Junior Doctor Contract Part of Ugly Plan

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Thursday 24 September 2015

Keep Our NHS Public, which has been campaigning for a publicly owned, publicly run NHS for 10 years, is appalled to learn of the number of junior doctors registering to work abroad ( ) following the government’s refusal to back down on its slashing of their terms and conditions and angry responses by the junior doctors themselves which has not ruled out strike action ( ).


If applied, the new junior doctors’ contract would see their pay for weekend and late evening work cut massively. This is likely to affect precisely those specialities, such as emergency care, which are already straining under the pressure of a growing shortage in numbers of junior doctor applying for those roles.

This is nothing less than the systematic, deliberate running down of the NHS which Keep Our NHS Public has been predicting as the preliminary to widening privatisation and dismantling of the comprehensive, free at the point of delivery health service the people of this country chose and which no one has voted to end.

Keep Our NHS spokesperson Alan Taman said:

 “Here we see, again, the true agenda for the NHS at work. Forget about vague promises on ‘the 7-day NHS”; forget about assurances that the NHS is “safe in the Tories’ hands”. The only thing safe in this Tory government’s hands are the armfuls of private health contracts it is lining up to replace the NHS with.

 “Junior doctors are entitled – after years of study and sacrifice – to expect a just reward for the hours they must work if lives are to be saved. That they are edging towards industrial action – with all the ethical consequences that will have for a doctor – shows just how angry they feel. It also shows just hoe determined this government is to run the NHS down and break it apart.

 “This is following the classic pattern of dismantling a public service: run it down, wait for people to get angry and complain, point to the ‘more efficient’ private alternatives while blaming victims for their own shortcomings. People need to know: their NHS is being taken from them and this is only the latest step.”


Editors’ Notes

Keep Our NHS Public was formed in 2005 and has a broad-based, public membership. There are 46 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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