Junior doctors have rejected claims that they are considering an indefinite walkout after next week’s two day strike.
Leaked emails reportedly revealed that members of the British Medical Association’s (BMA) junior doctors committee were considering options, which could include an indefinite walk out, mass resignations and suggesting doctors pursue other careers.
The emails, which have been seen by the Health Service Journal, included options for an indefinite walk out from June 8.
According to reports Malawana told his colleagues in the emails that they should consider “possible actions” following next week’s strike.
The proposals would be discussed at their committee meeting in May.
Responding to the reported leaks Dr Johann Malwana, the chairman of the BMA’s junior doctors committee said: “No decision has yet been made about future action but junior doctors will, of course, have to consider what options are open to them if the government refuses to re-enter talks.”
He said that: “Let me be clear, junior doctors do not want to have to take any action. They would rather be in work, treating patients.”
Junior doctors in England are planning for an unprecedented withdrawal of emergency cover between 8am and 5pm on Tuesday (26 April) and Wednesday (27 April) as their dispute over the new contract escalates.
Consultants are preparing to provide emergency cover instead.
Malawana called for the government to return to the negotiating table.
“It is not too late to end this dispute and call off next week’s action entirely. For the sake of patients as well as doctors, the government must listen to concerns from all sides calling on it to lift imposition, sit down with junior doctors and end this dispute through talks.”
Health minister Ben Gummer said an indefinite suspension of care “will worry patients all over the country.”
He said if the BMA discussed the issue of Saturday pay last November “we’d have a deal by now and not a series of dangerous and damaging strikes.”
Earlier this week the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges called on the government to accept the BMA’s offer to call off next week’s strike if it lift’s the imposition of the disputed new contract and return to talks.
“Both sides must show a genuine commitment to reaching a negotiated settlement,” they said.