Dozens carried red placards as they marched through the streets of London yesterday – stating on the placards their name, their specialism and their intended destination, usually Australia.
Thousands of junior doctors marched through the streets of the capital, arriving at the gates of Downing Street.
But they were preventing from going through the gates to number 10 with a view to presenting a giant petition protesting at the proposed new contract.
The protesters then donned surgical masks as they sat in protest in Whitehall.
Mr Hunt used an appearance on the Andrew Marr Show to lash out at the British Medical Association ahead of Wednesday’s strike, seeking to depict it as the source of the dispute.
Both sides in the failed negotiations last week made it clear that the main point of disagreement is the government proposal to make Saturdays a routine day for working.
But Mr Hunt alleged, speaking to Mr Marr, the dispute was about pay.
He claimed: “One of the reasons for that anger – and there is anger there – is because junior doctors were told by the BMA that their pay was going to be cut. It isn’t.
He added: “They were told they were going to be asked to work longer hours. They aren’t; we are actually bringing down the hours they work. And if you are told by your union that the health secretary wants to do these awful things, of course you feel devalued.”
He accused the BMA of “spreading misinformation.”
BMA junior doctors’ committee chair Dr Johann Malawana hit back.
He said: “The BMA has been clear throughout this process that we want to reach a negotiated agreement – no doctor wants to take industrial action, and our door has always been open to talks. But the government is putting politics before reason, and their continued threat to impose a contract that junior doctors have roundly rejected leaves us with no option.
“Junior doctors already work around the clock, seven days a week and they do so under their existing contract.
“If the government want more seven-day services then, quite simply, they need more doctors, nurses and diagnostic staff, and the extra investment needed to deliver it.”
And shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander accused Mr Hunt of “insulting the intelligence” of junior doctors.
She said: "This is a group of people who are incredibly intelligent, are able to make their own minds up, have read the proposals for themselves and have followed the negotiations very carefully."
The figures, obtained by BBC 5 Live, only apply to the first ten months of the year.
But they are nearly double the total figure for 2013 – when 68,000 patients faced exceptionally long waits.
Dr Adrian Boyle, of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said: "It's not just about tedious waits for patients.
"Studies have repeatedly shown that there is an increased mortality in people who spend a long time in emergency departments, so crowding kills patients."
He added: "These are almost always people who need admission to hospital, so these are the most vulnerable and the most seriously ill patients."
Dr Boyle said the figures understate the problem in England – as 12 hour waits are only counted from the point when a decision is made to admit a patient.
He told the programme: "The effect of that is there is a big discrepancy in the figures for how long someone actually spends in an emergency department and breaches of the 12-hour standard.”
Nearly half of some £4 billion worth of spending will go to making the NHS “paperless”, including the removal of fax machines.
Another billion pounds is to be allocated to cybersecurity and tackling issues of data consent.
And £400 million will go towards a new version of the nhs.uk website, linked to modern apps, together with free Wi-Fi throughout the NHS.
According to the Health Service Journal, the cash is a slight increase on previous announcements and is likely to be found within NHS budgets.
A new target would be set for 10% of patients to be using IT to access GP services by March next year.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt sought to promote the project during his appearance on the BBC Andrew Marr show.
He said: "We know that proper investment in IT - it's not without its pitfalls - can save time for doctors and nurses and means they can spend more time with patients.”