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Junior doctors in England announce 4 more days of strikes

The British Medical Association’s (BMA) junior doctors’ committee has announced a four-day walkout to take place in England between 7am on Aug. 11 and 7am…

The British Medical Association’s (BMA) junior doctors’ committee has announced a four-day walkout to take place in England between 7am on Aug. 11 and 7am on Aug.15.

It is the latest round of strikes from both junior doctors and consultants, which has led to the cancellation of thousands of NHS appointments.

Committee co-chairs, Dr Robert Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi, said in a statement that “it should never have got to the point where we needed to announce a fifth round of strike action.

“Our message today remains the same: act like a responsible government, come to the table to negotiate with us in good faith, and with a credible offer these strikes need not go ahead at all.

“The Prime Minister has told us that talks are over.

“But it is not for Rishi Sunak to decide that negotiations are over before he has even stepped in the room.

“This dispute will end only at the negotiating table. If the Prime Minister was hoping to demoralise and divide our profession with his actions, he will be disappointed.

“Consultants, along with our specialist and associate specialist colleagues, have covered crucial services during our strikes and those same consultants were also on their own picket lines last week.

“Mutual solidarity has been on display at hospital picket lines up and down the country: this is a profession united in its refusal to accept yet another pay cut.

“Junior doctors are not going anywhere however much government might wish we would.

“The facts have not changed: we have lost more than a quarter of our pay in 15 years and we are here to get it back”, they said.

Health service leaders have called for an end to the dispute after figures show that industrial action in England over the last eight months has led to 819,000 appointments, operations and procedures being postponed.

Earlier this month the government announced pay increases for millions of public sector workers, including doctors.

It said that junior doctors would receive a six per cent rise along with an additional consolidated £1,250 increase, while hospital consultants would receive a 6 per cent rise.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the deal was the “final offer” and that there will be “no more talks on pay”.

As a result, BMA consultants announced that further walkouts would take place shortly before the August bank holiday, on Aug. 24 and 25.

The latest announcement from junior doctors means there will be six severely disrupted days in the NHS in England in August. (dpa/NAN)

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