Green Party co-leader, Carla Denyer, showed her support for junior doctors by visiting their picket line outside the Bristol Royal Infirmary. Junior doctors have been on strike since 7 am Wednesday 20 September and will finish at 7 am on Saturday 23 September.
University Hospitals Bristol and Weston paid consultants £261 an hour to provide cover for striking junior doctors.
In response Carla said: “These costs are caused by the Government’s refusal to meet with and listen to the junior doctors who are acting to protect the standard of patient care and the future of the NHS.
“I have been listening.
“I met striking junior doctors at the picket line who explained the financial pressure they are under, especially those newly graduated from medical school, with huge debts, who need to pay a deposit and first few months' rent on a flat, professional fees, etc, all on a low income, in spite of the long hours they are working and the years of training it has taken for them to get here.
“They told me about the number of colleagues leaving the profession due to highly stressful working conditions and unfair pay.
“Our NHS is in crisis, yet Conservative ministers continue to actively make the problem worse, wasting taxpayers’ money by refusing to meet with doctors to end this dispute. On the other side, Labour are also not willing to commit to giving healthcare workers an inflation-matching pay rise.
“The Green Party stands with junior doctors and all healthcare workers taking action to protect our NHS.
“The Green Party would commit to properly funding the NHS by increasing investment by at least £6bn each year, and give all public sector workers an inflation-matching pay rise."
“I know that junior doctors don’t take these decisions lightly. They understand the impact that poor pay and conditions has, not just on themselves, but on the future of the NHS. The Government is simply not going to be able to tackle the 112,000 vacancies if they’re not willing to restore years of erosion to their pay."