Thousands of operations and NHS services will be delayed today as junior doctor’s strike for the next 24 hours, starting at 8am.
Although preparations have been made by way of rescheduling appointments, and delaying treatments, the action is bound to hit many patients in desperate need of care. Out of the approximately 55,000 junior doctors, it is said by unions that 37,000 have agreed to a strike, affecting a whopping third of our medical workforce.
The strike came as the government and doctors failed to come to an agreement in regards to working conditions and pay. Many were also in protest for the government’s decision to privatise the NHS.
The NHS has proposed an 11% increase in pay and a reduction in ‘unsociable’ working hours.
A counter proposal from the government includes ‘premium pay’ hours starting later at 10pm rather than 7pm, going through to 7am on a Monday to Friday basis.
Weekend work for junior doctors would normally be at a premium rate but the changes would mean that a Saturday would be a normal working day until 7pm in the evening. The Government insist that the change in rates would eventually result in shorter hours and more balanced pay.
A ‘seven day’ NHS service was a key pledge for the Tory party during recent elections and they seem keen to establish this manifesto.
Doctors whom are yet to complete their training, have a starting salary of £22,636, which then increases to £30,000 within four years. That being said, supplementary funds can top up their salary to £40,000 in the beginning and up to £56,000 as they gain more experience.
Specialist Doctors can receive between £30,000 and £41,175 with more senior levels receiving £69,325 and above.
This current strike will last 24 hours ending 8am the following day.