Junior doctors announce ANOTHER strike: Four-day August walk-out by the BMA will bring struggling NHS to standstill again
Junior doctors will take to picket lines again next month, with tens of thousands of appointments expected to be cancelled.
The British Medical Association (BMA) is coordinating the four-day walkout in England, which will run from 7am on Friday August 11 to 7am on Tuesday August 15.
It marks the fifth strike by the medics since March.
The union said junior doctors ‘are not going anywhere’ in their bid for an inflation-busting 35 per cent pay rise.
It comes after the Government this month confirmed that junior doctors, along with other public sector workers, would see their pay increase by around six per cent — labelling the figure a ‘final’ offer.
Junior doctor members of the British Medical Association on the picket line outside St Thomas’ Hospital in London on July 13, 2023
Nearly 700,000 NHS appointments have been cancelled since strikes began seven months ago. In the latest five-day walkout by junior doctors, more than 100,000 were called off
The new strike dates come after a five-day walkout by junior doctors, which ended on July 18 and was the longest in the history of the NHS.
The trainee medics have been awarded a pay rise of 6 per cent plus a consolidated payment of £1,250, which is equivalent to an average increase of 8.1 per cent.
But they have vowed to continue striking every month until they receive an inflation-busting 35 per cent.
Dr Robert Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi, co-chairs of the BMA’s junior doctor committee, said: ‘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.’
They added: ‘If the PM 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 fifteen years and we are here to get it back.’
The latest strike by junior doctors ran from 7am on July 13 to 7am on July 18. They withdrew all care, including from cancer wards and A&E.
The five-day walkout saw more than 100,000 appointments and operations cancelled.
It comes at a time when more than 7.47million patients in England — the equivalent of one in nine people — are in hospital queues for routine ops like hip and knee replacements.