8 opinions on the junior doctors' strike

This month we asked subscribers to our newsletter for healthcare professionals for their thoughts about the junior doctors' strike. Here are the views we received. Join in the debate - add your opinion as a comment below.

I think the health minister is right to impose a new contract upon junior doctors. He has responsibility for the future of the NHS, unlike doctors, who can take it or leave it. RN Francis (retired UK dentist)

A person choosing a profession, be it police, soldier, mechanic etc, is surely well aware of what the job entails. Therefore, junior doctors understand the workload and pay so, if not satisfied, do not become a doctor and do something else. Hence I do not agree with their strike, certainly in a profession which may put a patient at risk. Anon

Has the government left any other option? Unfortunately the doctors are not vote catchers and the government is using them as unjustified tools. They are not helping the public; instead they are destroying the NHS. Nawaz Bangash

I live in Scotland so it does not affect me. However, I was a nurse so know something about hospitals and I would never go on strike. In this case I do not know what it is really about, but surely both sides could sort something out. The deal seems not too bad and the weekends do need to be covered by staff. Barbara Cook

Goodwill form doctors and health professionals is essential to patient wellbeing. Hunt's action is a disaster and probably illegal. Cameron obviously approved. The situation is a disaster for everyone in the UK except the ruling Conservative Party, but even if they have private healthcare, even their safety is jeopardised. Even those doctors who do not resign will have low morale. Would not want to be Jeremy Hunt at A&E with a heart attack. Professor Diana Kornbrot

On the TV news programmes we hear polished sound bites and insufficient detail. Because politicians/governments have a good record of making deceitful changes which turn out later to be detrimental to the innocent bystander, I would be inclined to support the doctors in any case. Furthermore, doctors do not strike for trivial reasons. Jeremy Hunt is a smooth operator but does not fool everybody. Elaine Rigg

I wish a junior doctor would explain to me why they say this contract is unsafe; less working hours, less unsocial shifts in a row. What I do see is a contract where they may be financially worse off, but if they think they have a bad deal, spare a thought for all the staff at Tesco who had their unsocial hours contract imposed on them last week, which left them all with a significant reduction in pay. They are low-paid workers with no 11% pay offer to compensate them. Does the NHS spend more money on doctors' salaries or more money on low-paid nurses and other facilities which need improving? I wish the BMA would be honest and say this strike is over money. Lilian Hobbs

I am sure that junior doctors do work long hours and this is not right or safe. However, I don't believe in strikes as it damages patient care and puts them at risk. I think the bigger problem with junior doctors is the lack of consultant visibility and cover at the weekend, which then raises the need for Juniors to cover the hospital. Carol Morant


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