BMA announces a walk-out strike

The BMA has just announced the planned 48 hour industrial action to take place next month will now be an ‘all-out strike’, a first in the history of the NHS.
The strike planned from the 6th to the 8th of April will only see Emergency care functioning, whereas the strikes planned for the 26th and 27th of April will now be a full walk-out, between 8am and 5pm (a total of 18 hours). This follows from the continuing refusal by the government to resolve the dispute by re-engaging with junior doctors.
The Department of Health has claimed the action “desperate and irresponsible” and would ‘inevitably put patients in harm’s way’. Furthermore, they claimed that they government is ‘left with no choice’ but to proceed with proposals as the BMA failed to ‘agree to negotiate on Saturday pay’.
Dr Johann Malawana, BMA junior doctor committee chair made it clear that the decision to choose ‘imposition of the contracts over talks’ has left junior doctors with no choice but to carry on with the strikes. Citing that 98% in a ballot of junior doctors supported industrial action, including a full withdrawal of labour, the  BMA has confirmed the need for an escalation of action.
By attacking junior doctors as ‘not working hard enough’, the government fails to tackle the root cause of the problem; a ‘chronic underinvestment’ in the NHS, leading to staff shortages and potentially dangerous compromises being made.  Dr Malawana emphasised that ‘For the sake of patients, doctors and the future of the NHS the government must put politics to one side, get back around the table and end this dispute through talks’, a message them doesn’t seem to sit well with policymakers.

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