As a junior doctor I can tell you that there are a lot of issues with the imposition of the new Junior Doctor contract and they should be thought about carefully, because otherwise you could potentially harm the healthy of a great many people. Concerns such as discrimination against women, cutting pay for those who work the most antisocial hours, decreasing retention of doctors, decreasing quality of training for the future consultants and leaders of the NHS should be properly addressed with data by the government.
I cannot even begin to tell people in the non-medical world how hard it is to make the smallest of changes in healthcare nowadays as any change could potentially cause a lot of harm. For example in my hospital at the moment we are looking for a safe way to prescribe oxygen for our patients in such a way that the nurses can titrate up and down as needed, change delivery via masks or nasal cannulae according to how the patient is doing etc. in a way that fits pharmaceutical guidelines and in a way so that doctors can ensure their patients are safe. The discussion with regards to best implementing our ideas has been going on for months and will need to be trialled in a small cohort of patients before rolling out. That is the safe way to do things. That is how hard it is to make a slight change to how we already do things.
So how can this government impose an untested contract which will change the whole landscape of the NHS in England without any data? As a doctor, a man of science and someone with a tad bit of common sense it is clear to me that this contract is simply dangerous. Patients and doctors should be rightly concerned.