Sugden supports campaign against changes to Junior Doctor contract

Claire Sugden MLA
Claire Sugden MLA

East Londonderry MLA Claire Sugden has given her support to the campaign against changes to the Junior Doctor Contract in Northern Ireland.

The Government plans to impose the a contract on doctors, up to consultant level, next year.

These changes are unacceptable. They show lack of appreciation for our incredibly hard working Junior Doctors, who are already swamped by a Health Service which is operating at capacity

Claire Sugden MLA

The contract will reclassify doctors’ normal working week to include Saturdays and up to 10pm every night except Sunday.

In a statement Ms Sugden said the changes were ‘unacceptable’.

“I fully support the campaign against changes to the Junior Doctor Contract in Northern Ireland,” said the Assembly member.

“Proposed changes will cut the number of payments made for unsociable hours, and make Saturdays and late evenings part of a normal working week.

“These changes are unacceptable. They show lack of appreciation for our incredibly hard working Junior Doctors, who are already swamped by a Health Service which is operating at capacity.

“Many care for patients above and beyond the hours they are required to work. Changes to the contract across the UK do not take into consideration different geographical contexts.

“Wales and Scotland have already rejected these changes; I urge the Northern Ireland government to do the same. I have spoken with Junior Doctors and students who are involved with this campaign, and I am lobbying the Minister on their behalf.

“This is not the way to solve the problems we have within the Health Service in Northern Ireland. What we need is a clear forward thinking strategic framework.

“It is the responsibility of the Executive to work with those within the Health Service to lead on this. The sooner they see past their political games, to the real needs of the people, the better.”