UK’s health care systems likely to be hit again as consultants, junior doctors go on 72-hour strike
Baku, October 2, AZERTAC
Britain's National Health Service (NHS) is likely to face yet another major disruption in providing services as hospital consultants and junior doctors began a three-day strike on Monday, according to Anadolu Agency.
Hospital consultants and junior doctors, both members of the British Medical Association (BMA), are on strike for 72 hours across England over an ongoing pay dispute.
This is the second coordinated action by consultants and junior doctors, following the first joint action last month across England.
The strike begins at 7 a.m. (0600GMT) on Monday and would last until 7 a.m. on Thursday.
Ahead of the strike, the BMA said in a statement that instead of staging a full walkout on these days, both junior doctors and consultants will take part in a form of action known as Christmas Day cover, which means that only emergency care will be provided.
Meanwhile, the NHS has warned of "extreme strike disruption" as thousands more appointments are expected to be rescheduled this week.
It added that the first-ever joint industrial action by both consultants and junior doctors took place last week, forcing nearly 130,000 inpatient and outpatient appointments rescheduled.
"NHS services have had very little time to recover from the previous action, and to now face an unprecedented three consecutive days of ‘Christmas Day’ cover this week which will prove extremely challenging, with almost all routine care brought to a near standstill," Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said in the statement.
The government has repeatedly urged the union and doctors to end their action, saying the government's 6% pay raise this year is the final offer.
However, the BMA, which called the offer "derisory," said this is an "insult to consultants."
The cumulative total of acute inpatient and outpatient appointments rescheduled during the year has now exceeded 1 million, according to official figures.