Thousands of doctors in Britain walked off the job in their longest ever strike


LONDON (AP) — Thousands of doctors walked off the job in Britain on Wednesday, starting a six-day strike, the longest in the history of state-funded medicine. National Health Service.

Thousands of scheduled appointments and operations will be canceled during a walkout by junior doctors in England and Wales, who are in the first years of their careers, managers said. Doctors, who form the backbone of hospital and clinic care, plan to stay off work until 7 a.m. Tuesday.

Senior doctors and other practitioners have had to be deployed to cover emergency services, critical care and maternity services.

Julian Hartley, chief executive of NHS Providers, the health care managers' organization, said the strike came at one of the toughest times of the year for the health service, "due to the demands and pressures immediately following the Christmas and New Year period." Of course we've got the flu, we've got Covid.

“So this is going to have a significant impact on patients,” he said.

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walkout The pressure is on an already overwhelmed health service which is still struggling to overcome the backlog caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Nurses, ambulance staff and senior doctors have reached a pay agreement with the government, but the union representing junior doctors is adamant and talks have stalled. The government says it will not negotiate further until the doctors end the strike, while the union says it will not negotiate until it receives a "credible" pay offer.

"The notion that we are hell-bent on calling a strike and that's what we want to do is not a strike," said Dr. Vivek Trivedi, co-chair of the British Medical Association's Junior Doctors Committee. “What we want is to negotiate a proposal that we can put forward to our members and that our members can accept.”

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