Op-Ed: Wednesday, after failing to reach agreement over new working contracts proposed by the government, junior doctors took the next step in a series of actions and staged a 24-hour strike.
Thursday Health secretary Jeremy Hunt moved a step closer to imposing the new contracts on the doctors in a like-it-or-lump-it move.
Hunt appeared on TV news Thursday, and it has to be said he looked less like the rabbit-in-the-headlights than in recent days.
Perhaps having decided to, shall we say, call the doctors bluff he may feel more comfortable about the junior doctors' new working contracts fall out but many will not.
Thursday parliament begins a recess (February 11 to February 22 which ties nicely in with school holidays in a way most ordinary employees can only dream about) meaning Hunt and the government can disappear while watching in the wings from, in some cases, free and far flung vacations to see what happens next.
From day one Hunt has touted the new deal as better for both junior doctors and patients, claims the new contracts in effect offer a pay rise and reduces working hours but manage somehow to encompass Saturday as just another day of the week.
That would be a tough task and if you look at the fine details expect to see Hunt has failed miserably.
Other NHS staff are waiting-in-the-wings to see how this one pans out.
If Hunt can get the new junior doctor contracts done and dusted he will move on to senior doctors including consultants.
Will they get a better deal on the table from Hunt?
The new intake of junior doctors is imminent and if Hunt can impose the new contracts before they arrive in post the new recruits will have few options.
The fact that UK retail often operates a one hourly pay rate fits all these days, making sure every day of the week attracts the same hourly pay rate, does not make it fair. Neither does it make such operations work well as in many cases they are half-ass after cutting costs to the bone.
There was a time when working Sundays attracted a pay incentive of up to double time. Saturday working in the NHS attracted time and a half pay for administration staff after a set time.
Hunt is trying for a cut price NHS that operates fully seven days a week every day and night of the year but does not want to pay a fair salary to achieve this.
Previous Tory government ravaged services across the UK by mass privatisation of utilities and has its sights set on similar for the NHS. It has refused to protect the NHS from TTIP and if you look at who has money invested in privatised NHS services links to the Tory party are all too evident.
Check out a Daily Mirror report from 2014 which shows what it calls a dossier of shame.
Having experienced the NHS as an employee, a patient and the loved one of a 'customer' or two I know junior doctors save lives and they do this each and every day of the year with or without the new insulting contracts.
Hunt may hope he will be home free if he imposes the new contracts but if junior doctors and other staff decide to resign NHS England is screwed.
And yes it is England that is imposing these changes which means NHS junior doctors could get better working contracts by crossing borders into Scotland or Wales or ditching the UK altogether and choosing to work abroad.
In the end you have to decide if changes to the NHS are about improvements or handing it over bit by bit to the fatcats and their supporters.
We will fight contract imposition, says BMA, BBC News Thursday
The Independent goes for"Jeremy Hunt unilaterally imposes new contract on junior doctors without their agreement."
NHS England boss Simon Stevens favours the new contracts claims Jeremy Hunt. He was appointed in 2013; US healthcare boss to be appointed chief executive of NHS England next year wrote Pulse Today. He was the Tory choice to run NHS England and it is easy to see why.
2011 Telegraph Named: the highest NHS fat cat earners - An investigation by The Sunday Telegraph has uncovered at least 660 NHS managers who earn more than the Prime Minister.
More at Big Up the NHS
[A previous Labour government implemented an NHS Agenda for Change which offered fair pay-there were some winners and some losers but overall it worked-the Tories are slowly but surely stripping that away]
Tuesday it was a 24-hour walkout by junior doctors which ended at 08:00 GMT but on January 26 junior doctors will begin a 48-hour walkout with more action planned.
Between now and the next planned strike their needs to be action from all interested parties. The government needs to stop playing games, take arbitration seriously and meet the doctors at least halfway.
Tuesday's strike action meant NHS hospitals were working at normal capacity for say a Christmas Day.
Junior doctors are still trainees and it says something about their roles at work when chaos ensues even though an estimated 37% did not strike [numbers vary across the UK- some junior doctors worked as part of a deal to cover ].
But it is often junior, trainee or low grade staff that is the backbone of NHS hospital wards and clinics. Junior doctors, auxiliary nurses, student nurses, volunteers, cleaners, caterers and clerks all keep the NHS running smoothly. They are all cogs on a wheel of good healthcare but remove one and the service is quickly under threat.
Presumably operations were cancelled as consultants had to fill the gap on wards and clinics created by the junior doctors strike but it shows how undervalued junior doctors are.
It does not take long for junior doctors to have too much responsibility shoved on them as they are run ragged on unworkable shifts that leave them little time for study and examinations.
The junior doctor’s strike is being touted by the Tories as money centric but by the workers themselves and their union as about patient safety, good working practices and preventing an upsurge in compulsory working hours.
If, or should that be when, you are rushed to an A&E department with a life-threatening injury or illness you will value the treatment you receive from a junior doctor who may have already worked a day's shift.
Without these junior doctors working with nursing teams your chances of survival are limited.
Junior doctors 24 hour strike called off
Junior doctors vote to strike
Junior doctors strike and government interference
An arbitration request by NHS staff to Jeremy Hunt
Jeremy Hunt offers junior doctors 11 per cent