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Junior doctors in England protesting against the terms of a new contract have warned the imposition of the contracts could result in "a haemorrhage" of doctors out of the country.
Video report by ITV News' Political Editor Robert Peston
But the health secretary has stood firm on his decision. Speaking to ITV News Political Editor Robert Peston, Jeremy Hunt said it is "not tenable" for him to give in to a union "if it's the wrong thing for patients".
In this situation we have had too much evidence for too long, that things are going wrong too often at weekends at our hospitals, so I have to do something about that.
A number of junior doctors joining the protest outside the Department of Health in London on Thursday said there was a serious danger of the highly trained medical professionals leaving the UK for countries such as Australia and Canada.
"If i could I probably would at this stage - I feel so backed into a corner", one said.
Another warned "Imposing something is just going to completely demoralise the workforce and result in a haemorrhage of young intelligent doctors out of this country".
Nine health trust bosses have withdrawn their support for Jeremy Hunt's plan for new junior doctors' contracts in England after it was announced they were to be introduced despite the failure to reach an agreement with the British Medical Association
The names of 20 NHS bosses in England were attached to a letter advising the government to do "whatever it deems necessary" to break the deadlock with medics.
Now at least nine say they never supported the idea of forcing junior doctors to accept new contracts and did not back the Health Secretary's move.
One said she was not even aware her name was on the letter and had asked for it to be removed.
A number say they support the Government's contract offer but do not back doctors having to accept it.
Claire Murdoch, head of the Central and North West London NHS FT, said she was not aware that her name was on the letter until it was published, and immediately asked for it to be removed.
Sir Andrew Cash, head of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (FT), said: "I support the improved offer made this week as fair and reasonable, but I do not support imposition".
Andrew Foster, of Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS FT, said: "I have not supported contract imposition. I have supported the view that the offer made is reasonable."
As protesters continue to make themselves heard outside the Department of Health, junior doctors have been digesting the news that the controversial new contract proposed by the health secretary will be forced upon them.
One junior A&E doctor, who previously said he didn't want to strike but said "the future of the NHS depends on it", now says "this demonstrates exactly the sort of negotiations that have been on offer."
Despite the advice and the protestations of thousands of the country's leading medical experts, some of their own advisers and some of their own politicians, Jeremy Hunt has today decided that he is going to impose his version of this contract.
Dr Mashru adds that it is "just not safe" to "take services that are already stretched, and spread them even thinner".