Today the BMA announced that junior doctors have voted overwhelmingly to go ahead with industrial action commencing 1st December 2015.
Once you get your head around the idea that this is actually going to happen and that the NHS winter crisis of last year is likely to be a mere blip compared to the carnage about to unfold this time round, you have to sit back and consider what the argument is really all about.
Our junior doctors are fundamentally underpaid and overworked. Anyone who doesnt understand that should read this piece from the BBC which favours neither side in this dispute, it simply points out the pay scales across the "junior" doctor structure and key points of debate. Its worth reading as we all need to really see behind the headline and crucially, the politics.
The term "junior doctor" is in most cases a misnomer. You can have a so called junior who has 10 years of experience, runs a life saving healthcare team and is on less than 50k a year. Read that last bit - less than 50k. Plumbers earn more!
As for the hours they work, no one can argue with the fact that traditionally young doctors are flogged to death with high expectations and high stress levels for the duration of their apprenticeship.
You have to have sympathy with the junior doctors. We in this profession dealing with medical errors every day of the week, want to see doctors empowered and committed to their work. not demotivated, knackered and underpaid. That mix would not work in any walk of life, in any job out there in industry. So why is it deemed okay for lifesaving doctors and other health professionals..?
Hard to work out.
We can only pray that the dispute settles as soon as possible and before winter bares its teeth.