Impasse: UK junior doctors reject govt contract offer

LONDON – England’s junior doctors have voted to reject a proposed government contract as a labour impasse continues.

Roughly 58 per cent of the doctors voted against the contract Tuesday despite the British Medical Association’s support for the deal. Health Minister Jeremy Hunt said it is “extremely disappointing that junior doctors have voted against this contract.”

Junior doctors, who are physicians with up to 10 years’ experience, have gone on strike several times this year in a dispute over pay for weekend shifts. Hundreds of thousands of British patients had appointments and medical procedures cancelled because of the strikes.

The contract rejection led to the resignation Tuesday of Dr. Johann Malawana, chief of the BMA’s junior doctors committee. He said more talks are needed.

It’s also possible there will be further strikes. The labour issue is roiling Britain’s beloved National Health Service.