Mass Strike by UK Doctors

Mass Strike by UK Doctors  Mass Strike by UK Doctors

The British government said it was seeking to hold talks with doctors in its state-funded health service in a last-ditch bid to avert a series of mass walkouts, potentially the first such strikes in four decades.

Junior doctors, or those in training who represent just over half of all doctors in the National Health Service, said on Monday they would stage a 24-hour stoppage next week, followed by two further 48-hour strikes. It will affect non-emergency care and lead to the cancellations of many operations, Reuters reported.

Nearly 98% of more than 37,000 junior doctors had voted to take part in industrial action, including strikes, in protest against the new employment contract proposed by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

The government says the new contract is part of measures to ensure patients get the “same quality of care across the week”.

The BMA and doctors have criticized the contract, which changes the way they are paid for anti-social hours, saying it does not provide proper safeguards against doctors working dangerously long hours.

Planned walkouts before Christmas were suspended to allow for further talks on the dispute which centers on pay and conditions, but on Monday the British Medical Association (BMA) said these discussions had failed to make progress.

The NHS delivers care for free to the whole population and accounts for a third of government spending on public services. The service often features as one of the most important issues during elections and recent struggles during winter have led to concerns as to whether the NHS is adequately funded to maintain high standards.