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Lucy Allan MP under fire over junior doctors Facebook posts

Telford | News | Published:

A Shropshire MP has come under fire for claiming junior doctors are holding the NHS to ransom.

Telford MP Lucy Allan made the comments after junior doctors took part in a 48-hour strike last week in a row over pay and contracts that saw medics withdraw from emergency care for the first time ever.

On Saturday, Mrs Allan posted on her Facebook page: "Hard working people in Telford don't get why privileged trainee doctors, on course to earn £100,000 plus, will hold NHS to ransom and deprive ordinary people of emergency care. I don't get it either. If you are a trainee doctor in Telford I really want to hear your views."

She said people could get in touch with her on (01952) 290039 and that she was "happy to meet anytime".

The post was followed up by another post today which said: "Starting salary for a student doctor is 50% more than the average income in Telford. By the second year of training, student doctors could be earning up to twice the average Telford income. In the third year as a student doctor, they will be earning over twice the average for Telford. If they go on to become a consultant they will earn 5 to 7 times the Telford average. It's a profession with prospects. The more we pay doctors the less money there is for nurses, receptionists, porters, paramedics and all the other key people who make up our NHS."

But her comments have attracted criticism. Ami Jones, from Telford, who graduated in medicine in 2003 and now works as a consultant, said many of her fellow graduates were still junior doctors who can work "horrific shift patterns" and move hospital every 12 months.

She said: "The strikes are a protest against the systematic destruction of the NHS; making juniors work unsafe hours and forcing unfair rotas upon people who are already working above and beyond for the NHS is the beginning of the end."

Striking junior doctors at Princess Royal Hospital in Telford last week

The West Midlands Green Party wrote: "Lucy Allan doesn't get it. Nobody wants to be treated by an exhausted doctor."

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Mrs Allan has claimed the latest industrial action was irresponsible and junior doctors were "holding the British public to ransom".

She said the Government had set out a commitment to a seven-day NHS and reforming junior doctors pay was a key part of being able to deliver a service that the British public voted for.

She said: "Whilst I am grateful for the work junior doctors carry out day in day out, I cannot support a strike that irresponsibly withdraws A&E treatment.

"The British Medical Association's (BMA) action is that of a trade union seeking to politicise a pay dispute for its own ends. The issue of pay has been hijacked by the BMA and it is the British public who are being affected."

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