Doctors in English hospitals are embarking on a historic industrial action due to concerns over their pay and staffing shortages, News About Nigeria reports.
This five-day strike by junior doctors is part of a larger wave of protests within the National Health Service (NHS), which has been grappling with a significant backlog caused by the pandemic.
The action is set to begin at 7:00 am and conclude on Tuesday at the same time.
Not only junior doctors but senior consultants and radiographers are also planning to join the strike in the coming weeks.
The British Medical Association’s Junior Doctors Committee has voiced its grievances, stating that doctors have experienced a real-term pay cut of 26 percent over the last 15 years.
They argue that salaries have not kept pace with the escalating inflation rates.
In response, the government has offered an additional five percent pay increase, citing the high costs of backdating salaries to reflect inflation since 2008.
However, this proposal has been met with dissatisfaction from medical professionals.
They contend that the government should follow the example of the Scottish government and drop its requirement of no negotiations during strike announcements.
The doctors believe that a credible offer is necessary to address their concerns.
BMA leaders, Robert Laurenson and Vivek Trivedi expressed their disappointment with the inflexibility shown by the UK government.
They emphasized that the strike could be called off if the government meets their demands.
Their primary objective is to ensure that waiting lists in hospitals decrease and that there is an increase in the number of healthcare staff in the NHS.
The timing of this industrial action is crucial, as the NHS is already grappling with a backlog of medical procedures and appointments due to the pandemic.
The strikes could further strain the healthcare system, leading to longer waiting times and delayed treatments for patients.
The doctors’ concerns over pay and staffing shortages highlight the need for significant reforms and increased investment in the NHS to ensure its long-term sustainability.