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United Kingdom’s Junior Doctors strike for the second time in a year

United Kingdom junior doctors have started their 96 hour strike on April 11, after the ballot results showed most were in favour of the four - day walkout. The second round of the strike started in the early morning of  April 11 as junior doctors walked out and made a call for fair pay.


Junior doctors were already on strike last March ,calling for a 35% pay rise. Since 2008 junior doctors have experienced a 25% pay cut in their salaries. 


The British Medical Association (BMA) - the union for junior doctors raised the concerning issue of the low wages for diversity and highlighted to the government the importance of a pay raise, but it has been rejected. 


Secretary of State for Health and Social Care of the United Kingdom Steve Barclay saw the pay rise as unreasonable as he shared on his March 23 Twitter post the talks he made with the British Medical Association (BMA). 


“I met the BMA’s junior doctors committee yesterday in the hope of beginning constructive talks. They placed a pre-condition on these talks of a 35% pay rise,” Barclay stated. “That is unreasonable. My door remains open to constructive conversations, as I have had with other health unions.” 


Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Wes Streeting agreed with Steve Barclay that junior doctors should not go on strike. 


“No, no I don’t support the strike, actually,” Streeting said on LBC Radio on March 24. “I don’t want the strike to go ahead.”


However, Streeting agreed with junior doctors wanting an increase in pay rise.


 “I do think junior doctors are making a fair argument around their pay and the fact that pay has not kept up with inflation,” Streeting said.  


On April 8, three days before the strike, Barclay re- evoked his earlier statement in an article for the Telegraph and added how the NHS will have a struggle.

“ During the strike, the NHS will prioritise core services including emergency treatment, critical care, maternity care, neonatal care, and trauma,” Barclay stated.  “But I am concerned these strikes carry a considerable risk to patient safety.” 


According to the Director of Policy NHS Confederation, Dr. Layla Mccay, the four day strike will have more impact than the previous strike as 250,000 appointments and operations will be postponed. 


The BMA has stated that the government’s disapproval of the pay raise, led to it going on strike which could last more than four days.


The government is looking forward to ending the strike as soon as possible  while discussions are being made. However, the BMA are expecting to carry on the strike until their calls for fair pay are accepted.

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