Junior doctors have voted to strike over NHS pay for the second time in a 72-hour walkout over three continuous days.

The strikes are expected to commence as early as mid-March.

47,700 members of the British Medical Association (BMA) took part in a ballot over industrial action, of which 98% voted in favour.

The union says junior doctors had seen a pay cut by 26% since 2008, taking into account inflation levels.

In a statement, the BMA said: “The results are in and members have delivered a huge mandate with the highest-ever number of junior doctors voting for strike action and a record turnout. A huge thank-you to all of those who voted.”

The turnout was about 77.5%, with almost 37,000 junior doctors out of around 47,700 of those who are eligible taking part in the ballot.

On 15 March, members of the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA) will also strike for the first time in their union’s history.

Hundreds of thousands of operations and medical appointments are expected to be cancelled in England next month.

More than 140,000 surgeries and appointments have already been lost as a result of walkouts by health workers since the end of last year.

The Health Secretary, Steve Barclay, said he was “deeply disappointed” with the BMA ballot result.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Chief Executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery, said: “While we wait for the BMA to confirm the exact date of this walkout, it remains in the Government’s gift to bring this spiralling disruption to an immediate end by talking to the unions about pay for this financial year.

“An unprecedented 72-hour strike next month is extremely worrying as the NHS battles to cope with the effects of the most widespread industrial action in its history, soon to include a 48-hour walkout by nurses from 1 March.

“Leaders across the NHS are deeply concerned about the impact this will have on their ability to deliver care, especially as hospitals will now be left without emergency cover by junior doctors for three days straight.

“More than 140,000 appointments have already been postponed due to industrial action. This figure will rise significantly with the ramping-up of walkouts from nurses, ambulance staff and now junior doctors.

“An urgent resolution is needed if we are to prevent harm to patients and the NHS.”

William Hallowell
William Hallowell is a Journalism graduate and freelance reporter.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here