Strikes by junior doctors are a symptom of far deeper issues that must be addressed by ministers, a former NHS chief executive has warned.
Lord Crisp said questions must be asked about why young medics felt “undervalued and unloved” despite having what should be “one of the greatest jobs in the world”.
Thousands are set for another 24-hour walkout tomorrow as the Government threatens to impose a new contract if a bitter dispute over weekend and evening working cannot be resolved.
Many appointments are likely to be cancelled for patients at both hospitals.
Lord Crisp said: “This isn’t, I think, just about the technicalities of the dispute. I think this is about junior doctors feeling undervalued, unloved and not cared for.
“It is remarkable that 98% of junior doctors voted in favour of the strike. That is an extraordinary amount.
“I think this dispute is a symptom of something else that needs to be done and I would hope that when the dispute is resolved that the Government and leaders of the health service will sit down with the junior doctors everywhere around the country and talk to them about what the real issues are and why it is that these young people, on whom the future of the NHS depends to a large extent - as well as nurses and others of course - are feeling so disgruntled, so unhappy, with what are fantastic jobs.
“I’m not a doctor but being a doctor, in many ways, is one of the greatest jobs in the world"