I'm a doctor working in England and we're on strike for the first time in 40 years. AMA
It's 7:30pm UK time and I'm calling it a day. Thanks for the questions, hope I cleared some things up. Thank you for all your kind words of support.
Hi r/AMA I am a junior doctor working in England and I am on strike today, you can ask me anything!
I'm on my way to the picket line now but I'll be answering questions all day.
Edit: Here is a picture of me on the picket line - http://imgur.com/9aTcUPH
Background Junior doctors are qualified doctors who have not completed their training, in America we'd be called residents. Junior doctors in England are on strike for the first time in 40 years. The strike is modelled on Christmas Day, doctors who would have had Christmas Day are on strike. This means Accident & Emergency departments are fully staffed, as are the surgical and medical oncall teams - just like they were on Christmas Day.
We are on strike because our Government wish to impose a contract which many of us junior doctors disagree with. In a ballot of more than 37,000 junior doctors, 98% voted in favour of strike action.
We worry that the contract as proposed by the government is unsafe for patients and unfair for doctors.
The government claim their proposed contract is required to deliver a "truly 7-day NHS". I don't know what they mean by this, as they have never defined it. The government have no plans to recruit extra doctors so I can only assume they intend to spread us out thinner.
The government want to remove safeguards which protect the patients from tired doctors. The current system sees hospitals monitor doctor working hours twice a year. I've no idea how the new system would work, the government haven't said.
The government have made it clear from the start that this is not a cost cutting exercise and also that there is no money for a pay rise. That's fine, I accept that. But the changes to pay mean I would lose roughly 15% of my pay for doing the same work.
In the UK we have one of the most efficient healthcare systems in the world. It's not perfect but we do pretty well for what it costs - www.kingsfund.org.uk/topics/nhs-reform/mythbusters/nhs-performance and www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/thenhs/about/Pages/overview.aspx