Everything you need to know about the junior doctor strikes

Everything you need to know about the junior doctor strikes
Strikes: When are junior doctors, passport office staff, and teachers are walking …

Junior doctors are on strike over NHS pay.

The four-day strike will see appointments and operations cancelled and the public have been advised to use the NHS "wisely".

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It is the longest industrial action in the health service since nurses, ambulance crews and other health workers took action last year.

Here's what you need to know about it:

Who is on strike and why?

Up to 47,000 junior doctors will strike from 6.59am on Tuesday 11 April to 6.59am on Saturday 15 April - a total of 96 hours.

They are asking for a 35 per cent pay rise after years of below-inflation increases. 98 per cent voted to go on strike on a 77 per cent turnout in a ballot organised by the British Medical Association (BMA).

The BMA said the wage for junior doctors has fallen 26 per cent in the last 15 years.

An estimated 350,000 appointments including operations will be cancelled because of the strikes.

How have people reacted?

Posting on social media, MPs and other public figures showed their support for the striking workers:

Polls show public support for the strikes:

The shadow health secretary, Wes Streeting, said: “The junior doctors’ strike this week will cause huge disruption to patient care. Where is the prime minister and why hasn’t he tried to stop it?

“Rishi Sunak says he wouldn’t want to get in the middle of NHS pay disputes. Patients are crying out for leadership but instead they are getting weakness.”

Dr Robert Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi, the BMA junior doctors committee co-chairs, said: “It is appalling that this government feels that paying three junior doctors as little as £66.55 between them for work of this value is justified. This is highly skilled work requiring years of study and intensive training in a high-pressure environment where the job can be a matter of life and death.

“Why then has the government allowed junior doctor pay to be cut in real terms by over a quarter in the last 15 years?”

But the health secretary, Steve Barclay, called the strikes “extremely disappointing” and said the BMA’s demand for a 35 per cent pay rise was unreasonable as it would result in some junior doctors receiving a pay rise of more than £20,000.

He said: “People should attend appointments unless told otherwise by the NHS, continue to call 999 in a life-threatening emergency and use NHS 111 online services for non-urgent health needs.”

The chief executive of the NHS Confederation, Matthew Taylor, said the likely impact of the strike was “heartbreaking” and called on both sides to end their “battle of rhetoric”.

Prof Sir Stephen Powis, the national medical director of NHS England, said “cover is very fragile” during the BMA strike and urged the public to “use the NHS’s services wisely”.

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