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BMA calls for unity amidst MTAS fallout

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The new president of the British Medical Association (BMA), Parveen Kumar, has penned an open letter outlining what the organisation will do to try and sort out the mess of the online application system for doctors.

Previous president James Johnston resigned after a letter he wrote to The Times failed to reflect the anger felt by many doctors over the problems with the Department of Health's flailing system.

Patricia Hewitt was forced to ditch the Medical Training Application Service (MTAS) last month.

The letter asked all BMA members to fill in an online survey as to what the new system should look like. The organisation is preparing to give evidence to the Tooke Inquiry, which will look at what went wrong with the system and likely propose an alternative for next year.

But many junior doctors feel the BMA has failed to do enough to express doctors' anger.

The open letter points out that the BMA has been raising concerns about junior doctors' training since 2004. In the summer of 2006 it called for a delay in moving to the new system.

The letter calls for doctors to stand together.

It said: "There is a great danger that the profession ends up fighting amongst itself rather than doing everything we can, collectively, to find the best solution to a bad situation."

Presumably, this is aimed at organisations like junior doctors' group Remedy UK which has taken a harder line against MTAS.

Remedy UK took the Department of Health to the High Court over the project's failure.

Some 12,000 doctors are expected to be without jobs or training posts as a result of the project's failure.

The BMA letter is here.

There's more from NHS Blogger here. ®

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