HomeNewsLatest NewsJunior Doctors In Wales Commence Four-Day Strike Over Pay Dispute

Junior Doctors In Wales Commence Four-Day Strike Over Pay Dispute

A UK-wide study conducted by Ipsos MORI in January revealed that nearly half (48%) of the respondents supported the junior doctors' strike, while a third (33%) were against it, and 17% were indifferent.

Junior doctors in Wales have commenced their longest walkout to date in their ongoing pay dispute with the Welsh government.

The British Medical Association (BMA) expressed sadness over the situation but claimed that it had no other option, as doctors’ pay had decreased by nearly a third over the past 15 years.

Health authorities have warned of the significant impact this industrial action will have on healthcare services. The Welsh government stated that it lacks the funds to improve its 5% pay offer, which was rejected by junior doctors.

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Over 3,000 BMA members are expected to participate in the four-day strike, resulting in the likely cancellation of numerous appointments.

This industrial action began at 07:00 GMT on Monday and will continue until 07:00 on Friday. Dr Oba Babs-Osibodu and Dr Peter Fahey, co-chairs of BMA Cymru Wales’ Junior Doctors Committee, emphasized that they did not wish to be in this position but were left with no choice due to inaction.

They questioned whether junior doctors, who start their careers earning £13.65 an hour in Wales, are being adequately valued for their lifesaving care, years of training, and the burden of up to £100,000 in debt.

The loss of doctors seeking better pay and conditions elsewhere will exacerbate the already high waiting lists, causing further suffering for patients.

Health Secretary Eluned Morgan, following her re-appointment by the new First Minister, acknowledged the desire to address pay restoration ambitions but stated that the current offer represents the financial limits presently available to the Welsh government.

This four-day walkout marks the third time junior doctors in Wales have taken industrial action this year. During the previous three-day strike in February, 9,102 outpatient appointments (30% of all appointments) and 1,090 operations (32% of all operations) had to be postponed.

While urgent and emergency care will still be provided during this period of industrial action, NHS Wales’ Chief Executive Judith Paget urged people to seek alternatives to emergency departments if their needs are not critical.

She suggested using NHS 111 online or by phone, as well as pharmacies. Patients whose appointments are affected will be contacted by their health boards, but if they do not receive any communication, they should attend their appointments as scheduled.

Paget also cautioned that it may take longer for GP and pharmacy services to process prescriptions.

A UK-wide study conducted by Ipsos MORI in January revealed that nearly half (48%) of the respondents supported the junior doctors’ strike, while a third (33%) were against it, and 17% were indifferent.

Opinions on the latest walkout in Wales varied among individuals, with some expressing concerns over inadequate supervision and staffing levels, while others lamented the impact of cancelled appointments on mental health.

Consultant and specialist doctors in Wales are also planning to go on strike next month due to a pay dispute and unsafe staffing levels. The BMA highlighted extreme pressures and the need for improved workplace conditions.

The Welsh government pledged to continue pressing the UK government for the necessary funding to ensure fair and complete pay rises for public sector workers.

The UK government, on the other hand, emphasized that the Welsh government is well-funded to fulfil its devolved responsibilities, including healthcare, as it receives a record £18 billion per year settlement, the highest since devolution.

Charles Walton for SurgeZirc UK
Charles Walton for SurgeZirc UK
Charles Walton, a renowned writer for SurgeZIrc UK, has been covering local and world news for years. With his deep understanding of global affairs and his dedication to uncovering the truth, Walton has become a trusted source of information for readers around the world.
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