Junior doctors walked out on strike at 8am on Tuesday morning.
The 24-hour industrial action follows a breakdown in talks between the British Medical Association (BMA) and the government over junior doctors' contracts.
The below chart from Statista shows the disparity in basic pay between an MP and a foundation doctor in their first year (after graduating from medical school):
Managers at Sandwell hospital declared a 'level four' emergency and called doctors back to work, however they have remained on the picket line after the BMA said it would notify doctors if an emergency has occured and they are required.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said in a statement:
Everybody in Britain recognises and is grateful for the hard work and long hours put in by junior doctors. Their treatment by this government has been nothing short of appalling, leading to the strike action in our NHS today.
No NHS worker takes lightly the decision to strike, but the blame must be laid at the door of this government for the way it has treated doctors and now seeks to smear them in the press. It is time for this government to apologise to junior doctors and negotiate a fair deal that gets our NHS working again.
By comparison, health secretary Jeremy Hunt told BBC Radio 4:
I think it’s very disappointing. The first thing I’d like to do is to thank NHS staff who have worked really hard today to keep patients safe in very challenging circumstances, including nearly 40 per cent of junior doctors who have turned up to work today.
This is a wholly unnecessary dispute. We want all NHS patients to have the confidence that they will get the same high quality care every day of the week. At the moment, for example, if you have a stroke at the weekends you are 20 per cent more likely to die and that cannot be right. And that’s something every doctor wants to sort out as well.
So the right thing to do is sit round the table and talk to the Government about how we improve patient safety and patient care; not these very unnecessary strikes.