A striking junior doctor from Leeds has released a protest song ahead of an unprecedented mass hospital walkout.
Hospitals in the city are braced for five consecutive days of strike action this month in a dispute over contracts being imposed by the Government on trainee medics.
And ahead of the strike, orthopaedic registrar Rishi Dhir, from Harewood, has teamed up with a member of hit electronic band Faithless for the Stand Up music track to highlight the protests.
The former Grammar School at Leeds pupil told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “Absolutely nobody wants to strike but I feel there is a bigger picture here.
“The contracts are going to lead to over-stretching and the collapse of services.
“People should understand how fragile the NHS is at the moment, it’s a treasure that we should want to protect.”
The junior doctor of 10 years used the stage name Dr Rishi for the track, which he co-wrote the lyrics for and produced with guitarist Dave Randall, who has performed with the likes of Faithless and singer Dido.
The dance song includes a music video and the lyrics refer to the protest by medics against the contract imposition. In the track’s chorus, Dr Dhir, 35, sings: “It’s not safe, not fair but they just don’t care, we did not sign up for this.”
He is now urging people to download the song before the strike in a bid to raise awareness by topping the charts. It was self-funded and all money raised will go to charity.
The Stand Up track costs 79p and is now available on iTunes and Amazon.
The British Medical Association (BMA) council this week announced its members will strike for five days-in-a-row between September 12 and September 16, and walkout for a further two five-day strikes in October and November.
Junior doctors will hold a “full withdrawal of labour” from hospitals and emergency departments, including the city’s St James’s and Leeds General Infirmary hospitals, between 8am and 5pm on strike days.
A major part of the dispute over the new contracts is to change Saturday to a normal working day for junior doctors. The latest wave of strikes comes after five previous walkouts this year, which led to thousands of operations being cancelled.
A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “As doctors’ representatives, the BMA should be putting patients first not playing politics in a way that will be immensely damaging for vulnerable patients.
“What’s more, the BMA must be the first union in history to call for strike action against a deal they themselves negotiated and said was a good one.
“Co-operation not confrontation is the way forward to make sure patients get the best treatment and the NHS is there for people whenever they need it.”
HOW THE STRIKE WILL AFFECT LEEDS
Junior doctors will walk out of hospitals in Leeds on September 12 for five consecutive days.
The strike will include junior doctors working in emergency departments, but A&E services will remain open.
The Department of Health has urged patients to only go to A&E departments if essential because they are likely to be over-stretched.
Hospitals will contact patients who are due to have an operation on a day during the strike and they will be given advice. People who have not yet been contacted should call their hospital directly.
Have you downloaded the free YEP app available on Android and iphone?