For years the government has been slashing at the NHS, cutting and privatising to boost the profits of the private health vultures (many of whom have unsavoury links to MPs and other decision makers).
Now Cameron and Hunt have decided to take on both junior doctors and student nurses.
The proposed changes to out of hours arrangements for junior doctors wouldn't just mean a pay cut for many, but remove financialy penalties for trusts who jeopardise safety by making them work excessive hours. The proposals have been branded #notsafenotfair. After an impressive strike vote it was great to see so many out on the picket line for the first time this morning.
The striking thing about the situation is how the government is managing to unite health workers. The idea that weekends could run a weekday service without extra resources is ludicrous. And other health workers know that if the Tories beat the junior doctors, they are bound to attack their terms next because junior doctors can't provide a weekday service without all the other hospital departments and functions.
It's worth remembering that "number 10" described Cameron's assault on junior doctors as his "miners' strike". The whole working class paid the price for years for the defeat of the miners. We cannot afford any repeat, least of all when our NHS is at stake. Health workers deserve maximum support and solidarity.
It's a crime that health workers have to strike at all. Before solidarity strikes were outlawed (and unions obeyed these laws) other workers sometimes struck "on behalf of" health workers so that they could continue their vital work. As the Tories push through their Trade Union Bill and try to outlaw most trade unionism, will this kind of action be back on the cards again if workers feel there is no point trying to comply?
This is the appeal from the BMA:
A CALL FROM THE BMA - TO OUR FELLOW WORKERS, TRADE UNIONISTS AND ACTIVISTS: WE NEED YOU!