Junior doctors in England will strike next Tuesday after talks with the Government failed to reach an agreement, the British Medical Association has said.
The 24-hour strike on 12 January will be followed up by 48-hour industrial action starting on 26 January as well as another day on 10 February, the British Medical Association has announced.
All three of the strikes will start at 8am. During the first two junior scheduled actions doctors will provide only emergency care. The final scheduled strike will involve a full withdrawal of labour, the BMA says.
The BMA called off a previously planned strike last year with hours to go before it began in order to conduct more negotiations with the Government.
These negotiations do not appear to have produced progress, however.
BMA council chairman Dr Mark Porter said ministers were not taking medics’ concerns seriously and accused them of dragging their feet.
The Health Secretary has denied practicing political “spin” around the looming junior doctors’ strike.
Jeremy Hunt was accused of distorting the truth of negotiations by junior doctor campaigners in an appearance on ITV1’s Good Morning Britain programme.
The BMA’s Dr Mark Porter … said that there was still a way to go before the strike could be called off.
“The Government is, understandably, putting round the fact that agreement is almost there,” Dr Porter told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“It’s almost there in their mind but not in the minds of junior doctors.
“An 11 per cent pay increase doesn’t compensate when you take away a 31 per cent average payment for working the unsocial hours. Anybody can do the maths on that.”
The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt however claimed that the BMA agreed that pay was being protected – despite Dr Porter’s earlier comments.
“We think that broadly they do accept that we are protecting pay,” Mr Hunt told the same radio programme.
“No government or health secretary could possibly want to cut doctors’ pay. We’ve offered an absolute pay protection and we’ve shown the workings and we’ve gone through it with the BMA.
“Let’s be clear there isn’t a big difference between what doctors want and what we want and we should sit down and work out a solution.”
Doctors will go on strike next Tuesday if a last-minute agreement is not found.
Join the Vox Political Facebook page.
If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!
Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:
Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.
Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here: