Tens of thousands of doctors in training will go on strike for three days in England on Monday due to pay disputes.
Thousands of protesters marched across London to the residence of the British Prime Minister on Saturday to support health workers who have staged a series of strikes over pay and conditions in the state-funded National Health Service.
Nearly 40,000 junior doctors, who are the backbone of hospital care, will be walking across England for three days from Monday.
NHS England said the doctors’ strike would be even more disruptive than recent strikes by nurses and ambulance workers.
The NHS said it would “prioritise resources to protect emergency and critical care, maternity care and where possible prioritize patients who have waited the longest for elective care and cancer surgery”, but thousands of appointments and procedures will be canceled during the 72-hour strike.
A wave of strikes has disrupted the lives of Britons for months as workers demand wage increases to keep pace with double-digit inflation. As well as health workers, teachers, train drivers, airport baggage handlers, border workers, driving examiners, bus drivers and postal workers have all quit their jobs to demand higher pay.
Unions have said wages, especially in the public sector, have fallen in real terms over the past decade, and a cost-of-living crisis fueled by soaring food and energy prices has left many struggling to meet their wages. pay bills.
Annual inflation in the UK was 10.1 percent in January, down from a peak of 11.1 percent in November, but still the highest level in 40 years. The Conservative government argues that giving government employees wage increases of 10 percent or more would push inflation even further.
There are recent signs of progress towards ending the disputes. Nurses, midwives, physiotherapists and paramedics called off planned strikes last week to negotiate wages with the government.
Health Secretary Steve Barclay said he would hold talks with junior doctors’ representatives if they agreed to call off their strike.
“Let’s have a constructive dialogue to make the NHS a better place to work and make sure we deliver the care patients need,” he wrote on Twitter.
But the doctors’ union, the British Medical Association, said there had been no “credible negotiations” and the strike would begin on Monday as planned.