Daloni Carlisle's article on the staff and associate specialist grade contract negotiation fiasco misses points which could throw light on this, writes Sean Santos
The timeline omits the key event. In June 2006 the British Medical Association's SAS committee rejected the proposed contract outright, against the wishes of the negotiating committee, the advice of the BMA SAS secretariat and without consulting members.
It is widely believed that if the contract had been put out to vote the Department of Health would not have held it up.
The SAS committee delayed until November 2006 and then accepted the June proposals. This gave the DH every excuse to delay. In its shoes I would have done the same. It has saved millions and by inducing constituent fatigue ensured a low turnout in any subsequent ballot.
Note that 50 per cent of associate specialists and 44 per cent of staff grades are UK graduates. The membership of the SAS committee of the BMA does not reflect this. Before we start talking about institutional racism we need to be sure where the bias is.
Sean R Santos, associate specialist in anaesthesia, Cheltenham