A petition signed by thousands of people across the country calling for the health secretary to resign was started by a Portsmouth doctor.
Dr Dan Furmedge was frustrated at comments made by Jeremy Hunt as he suggested he would impose seven-day working on hospital doctors in England.
It’s a lack of understanding of what’s happeningDr Dan Furmedge
Dr Furmedge said he already works weekends, as do his colleagues, and that it’s a struggle to fill the shifts.
About 100,000 people have signed the petition, which he set up on behalf of NHS employees across the country.
A further 150,000 people have signed an official government petition.
Dr Furmedge, a doctor in geriatric and general internal medicine, said: ‘After a few years being health minister, he’s not at all respected by anyone he works with from nurses to doctors to other healthcare professionals.
‘After his speech about a seven-day working week he showed that he had no understanding about what actually happens in the NHS. He doesn’t understand that there aren’t enough people working like that.
‘He said that doctors needed to have a sense of vocation.
‘Having studied for five years at university and then doing postgraduate training and spending hours at work, I think doctors are the least likely professionals to need a sense of vocation.’
Dr Furmedge, who works as a doctor in Kings Cross, London, but is originally from Portsmouth, works one in four weekends and works one evening a week.
He added: ‘We want to send a strong message to the government.
‘Doctors and healthcare professionals agree that it’s not perfect and that there needs to be improvement.
‘The difficulty is that there aren’t enough people. Where are we going to get all these extra doctors and nurses from? That’s the question.’
And he said he has been overwhelmed by the response.
‘I am pleased with the reaction. The fact that it’s taken off so well is great. It’s amazing.’
The petition is at http://tinyurl.com/po2cent