At 2.p.m. on Saturday 20th February hundreds gathered in front of the Brian Clough Statue, in the centre of Nottingham, in a show of solidarity with Junior Doctors.
The rally was held in response to the unilateral action taken by Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to impose the Junior Doctors contract without the agreement of the British Medical Association.
“The turnout was particularly good especially considering we have only advertised the event for a few days”
The meeting was organised by People’s Organisation Nottingham. The chair of People’s Assembly Nottingham, Louise Regan, told Impact that despite the weather “the turnout was particularly good especially considering we have only advertised the event for a few days”.
She added that it was important for people to turn out to such events as the more people that “get behind the Doctors the more chance we have of changing things”.
Many members of the medical profession gave impassioned speeches that were watched by those in attendance. The speeches expressed the concern that this was more than just a question of working hours and that if enough was not done it could lead to the privatisation of the NHS.
“Many think that is just doctor’s complaining about pay but it is much more than that”
Renuka Chauhan, a second-year medical student from the University of Nottingham, opined that “many think that it is just doctors complaining about pay but it is much more than that”.
“The NHS and the welfare I have received since my diagnosis has been commendable”
Students from other faculties were also in attendance and similarly stressed the value that they felt towards the NHS. Radhika Chand, fourth-year English and American Studies student, commented that being “someone who suffers from type 1 diabetes, the NHS and the welfare I have received since my diagnosis has been commendable”.
She therefore felt “unnerved that the service is being pushed to the very edge and that this is impacting on everyone”.
Currently, no more action has been planned by the People’s Organisation Nottingham although the BMA is in the process of meeting in order to discuss possible further course of action.
By Marco Dall’Antonia
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