English Junior Doctors Strike To Threaten Emergency Care


Hospitals warn that junior doctors’ strikes could jeopardise emergency service during one of the busiest times of the year. Junior doctors in England intensified their industrial action on Wednesday, starting the first walkout of their largest strike to date.

In a protracted salary dispute, the British Medical Association (BMA), which represents over 50,000 junior physicians, announced that its members will strike for three days beginning Wednesday and again for six days from January 3 to January 9.

A&E department managers in London urgently urged the public to use A&E services for “real emergencies only,” while Cheltenham General Hospital announced that it might close due to “the very challenging environment.”

Negotiations with the government were abandoned by junior doctors when they were offered a salary increase of 8% to 10%. They claim that in order to offset the effects of inflation over a period of years, a 35% improvement is required.

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According to British Health Minister Victoria Atkins, who also stressed that the BMA was welcome to resume talks has stated there is a significant emergency steps that have been made to minimise inconvenience. 

Hospital administrators declared that the six-day walkout in January would be the longest in the history of the National Health Service in Britain. They also mentioned how challenging it was to have two walkouts so close to Christmas.

According to Ananthakrishnan Raghuram, the chief medical officer of the organisation that manages the hospital in Cheltenham, “the latest round of strikes at the busiest time of the year will bring substantial challenges to the local NHS, particularly hospital services.”

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This year, 1.2 million surgeries and consultations have been cancelled due to industrial action in the NHS, impeding British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s efforts to reduce waiting lists, one of his top goals.

Although the administration has just reached new pay agreements with senior physicians and nurses, the conflict with junior doctors still persists. These agreements put a stop to the groups’ threat of going on strike.

“I think it’s deeply regrettable that they’ve walked away from these talks,” Britain’s work and pensions minister Mel Stride told Times Radio on Wednesday.

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