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BMA chairman warns prime minister of doctors’ anger over training debacle

28 April 2007

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The chairman of the British Medical Association (BMA) today (Saturday 28 April, 2007) has warned the prime minister that doctors’ anger will grow if the government does not address problems with the Medical Training Application Service (MTAS) “with the level of urgency they deserve.”

The letter to Tony Blair from Mr James Johnson, chairman of council at the BMA, is published as action on MTAS is debated at the BMA’s annual conference of junior doctors today.

It highlights new flaws, including UK doctors incorrectly being told that they could not apply for posts because they did not have the “correct immigration status”, and applicants being unable to reorder their preferences for jobs, despite a government concession that they could.

Mr Johnson’s letter says that the recent revelation that the MTAS website was left open for anyone to view applicants’ personal details has “the potential to damage patients’ confidence” in the proposed new database of individual health records.

Motions at the junior doctors’ conference today include a vote of no confidence in the government team implementing the “shambolic and deeply destructive” changes, which are also accused of impairing “patient safety and the quality of future consultants and GPs”.