Over the weekend John Black, President of the Royal College of Surgeons, called for the Government to have the courage to "step in and suspend" EU rules which will bring junior doctors' hours down to 48 a week from Saturday.
Matt Jameson Evans, chair of campaign group RemedyUK, said: "We already know most doctors are against EWTD [European Working Time Directive], we just need the leadership to do the right thing here."
Let this be a lesson to all those in Europe - UK Labour MEPs included - who voted at the end of last year to abolish the opt-out from the working time directive as it applies to the rest of the economy. That includes firefighters, police officers, ambulance workers - and plenty of other people whose dedication and flexible workings hours are central to the health of the country. The vote triggered a tense round of negotiations in Brussels from which the UK Government eventually emerged unscathed, albeit by the skin of its teeth - but the current Swedish Presidency of the EU is keen on relaunching the talks, and the fight will be back on before long.
It is several years since the UK lost in negotiations to end the opt-out for doctors - when it was impossible to foresee the situation in which the rules would begin to apply in the future (EU regulations take an average of 2 years to come into effect).
Presumably, no-one imagined we'd be smack in the middle of a pig flu pandemic, for example.