Nine in 10 Junior Doctors' Posts Filled Despite Fears About Mass Exodus

The number of junior doctors taking up new posts this month has exceeded previous years, despite claims there would be a mass exodus following rows over a new contract.


The BMA and Government remain at odds over a new contract for junior doctors.  Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

Official figures show that 6,673 junior doctors have just entered specialist training – compared with 6,547 who took up a post last summer.

The "fill rate" of 89.94 per cent marginally exceeds that of last year, when 89.75 per cent of posts were filled.

Whitehall sources said they were "delighted" with the results, which they said contrasted with "strident rhetoric" from the British Medical Association (BMA) which had raised fears of an exodus abroad.

The union remains at loggerheads with the Government over a new contract for junior doctors.

Its leaders have yet to announce a course of action after its members rejected terms which are due to be introduced from October.

During increasingly bitter rows between unions and ministers, the BMA raised fears of a mass exodus among doctors who were likely to "vote with their feet" and seek work abroad.

Labour accused Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, of "behaving like a recruiting agent for Australian hospitals".

In February, the number of doctors who applied for documentation to work abroad surged by more than 1,000 per cent the day Mr Hunt announced plans to impose the contract.

However, the General Medical Council suggested at the time that some were doing so as an act of protest, and did not intend to leave Britain.

The new figures suggest few junior doctors have so far embarked on such a course.

Last night the BMA said any medic taking up a new training post this month would be doing so under the existing contract.

Dr Ellen McCourt, the chairman of the BMA junior doctor committee, said the majority of junior doctors did not support the changes to their contract.

"As the imposed new terms and conditions aren't due to come into effect until October, any junior doctor currently taking up new training posts will be working under the existing contract," she said.

"The BMA is currently awaiting a response from the government regarding the remaining areas of concern, and we have been clear with the Health Secretary that tangible progress needs to be made before a new contract is introduced."


Source: The Telegraph



Nine in 10 Junior Doctors' Posts Filled Despite Fears About Mass Exodus

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