Socialist Worker

Student nurses protest as talks bog down junior doctors' BMA organisation

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2483

Some 400 NHS students protested against Tory plans to axe their bursaries outside the Department of Health on Wednesday of last week.

They chanted, “Bursaries not bombs” and, “Save our NHS”.

Katie, a student nurse in east London, told Socialist Worker, “It would definitely put people off going into nursing. My bursary helps a lot. But it’s really low and was cut from last year—it doesn’t even cover my rent.”

The nurses’ protest came three days after the British Medical Association (BMA) wrongly suspended strikes for more talks.

Doctors had been due to strike against health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s plans to impose new, worse contracts.

Yannis Gourtsoyannis sits on the BMA’s junior doctors’ committee. He said, “If there is any display of bad faith by the government we will not hesitate to instigate a strike.

“While some concessions have been made, we are very far from achieving our core demands.

“The next few weeks will be a test of the BMA’s character as a union.”

Hunt wants to use the six-week period of talks to break momentum.

Junior doctors should keep organising and fight to get the action back on.


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