On Tuesday, the 8th of October 3,000 doctors are took part in a strike from 7am to midnight because of the long working hours; nearly 100 hours a week.Doctors carried out any required transplant and dialysis service and the normal weekend palliative care and attended for patients undergoing active chemotherapy and radiotherapy which cannot be deferred.
Arguments for the Strike
– A doctor cannot be relied on to make the right decisions for a patient after working up to 36 hours without sleep.
– Evidence shows that 28 hours without sleep can affect motor skills to the same degree as an illegal blood alcohol level.
– If the hours, conditions and pay of junior doctors are not changed there will be even more emigrants because there will be better jobs elsewhere.
Arguments Against the Strike
– It is not fair to the patients to strike when they need their help and care.
– Other alternatives could have been used instead of striking. For example, to refuse to participate in all HSE administrative functions, such as sitting in hospital comities, and a refusal to sign certificates such as sick and death certs.
– If the hours of the doctors were reduced, where would the government get the workers to cover the shifts and the money to pay them?
Altogether we agree that the strike is a good thing because the arguments against the strike are only short term, while the problems that we have because of the long hours are long term and could result in serious complications.