As warned last week, junior doctors are set to go on strike for 24 hours from midnight, as a result of pay cuts across the board and more anti-social working hours.
There are around 37,000 junior doctors that will only be providing emergency care on December 1, with two ‘full’ walkouts expected in the coming weeks.
As well as today’s strikes, doctors are set to leave their posts on the 8th and 16th of this month – which will be the first time something of this nature has affected the NHS.
It was hoped the government would strike a deal with junior doctors before striking was resorted to, but unfortunately no such agreement was made.
The striking has already caused huge disruptions throughout the NHS and the ripple effect will continue for the days and even weeks to come. Both appointments and planned surgeries have been cancelled around the UK.
Talks have been ongoing for some time between union members and government officials, and even last-ditch efforts to avoid the walkout have proved fruitless.
As a result, patients have been asked to attend accident and emergency clinics only in the case of a real emergency, as the NHS is set to struggle with the loss of workforce over the 24-hour period.
Despite the name, it’s not just new doctors who’ll be striking either. In fact, all doctors are regarded as junior until they become a consultant – which could be in the late 30s.
Some people are suggesting junior doctors already earn enough, with starting salaries at £23k, rising to around £30k after four years. However, it’s argued that antisocial working hours (including evenings and weekends) and dealing with life-death situations daily, warrants a higher pay packet.
What do you think of the strike? Will you be affected in the coming days and weeks? We’d love to hear from you, so why not comment below with your thoughts.