Channel 4 FactCheck is an independent fact checking renowned for its accuracy and balanced verdicts. This week they analyse the junior doctors’ strikes, and the conclusions may surprise you.From the junior doctors’ placards, it seems that safety is still the issue. However, the FactCheck verdict indicates that might not be right. FactCheck says:
The verdict : Without being a fly on the wall in the negotiations, it’s hard to know what the real sticking points are. The BMA has made no secret today that it sees status of Saturdays as the main obstacle.
At the same time, the doctors’ union is not conceding that all the other areas of disagreement in these complicated negotiations have now been completely settled.
If it is the case – as the government claims – that earlier fears over unsafe working hours have now been allayed, this message has not trickled down to striking doctors on picket lines.
They are still telling the public, perhaps wrongly, that this industrial action is still at least partly about unsafe hours.”
This is an emotional issue. In the media, the suggestion has been made that the BMA is following a “Corbynista” agenda, and are not trying as hard as they might to reach a solution. I therefore urge everyone to read the entire FactCheck article, to make up their own minds.
Update: 12/2/16 This morning the Times says “The BMA has overplayed its hand.”