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16.05.16

Junior doctors’ talks being conducted in ‘spirit of constructive engagement’

Torturous negotiations over the controversial junior doctors’ contract could be reaching a resolution, Dr Johann Malawana, the chair of the British Medical Association (BMA) junior doctors’ committee has hinted.

Dr Malawana gave a speech at the BMA junior doctors’ annual conference on Saturday while negotiations between the BMA and health secretary Jeremy Hunt were extended until Wednesday in a last-ditch effort to reach an agreement over the contract.

Dr Malawana told junior doctors: “We’re talking. They’re listening. We’re listening too. If this were a movie, I’d now pull out a large envelope with the word ‘deal’ written on it. We’re not there, and I can’t even add the word ‘yet’ to the end of that sentence.”

However, he said that negotiations were being conducted “in a spirit of constructive engagement” that “might just be a good way of conducting business in the wider NHS”.

He said that junior doctors were “not opposing” the government over plans to introduce a seven-day NHS, but were raising concerns about how it would be funded.

He said that the explanation the NHS had given last week for tackling the £22bn funding deficit would only lead to more cuts to hospital tariffs and doctors’ pay.

(Image c. Ben Birchall from PA Wire/ Press Association Images)

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