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Junior doctors to strike on Tuesday

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NHS services are going to be crippled as junior doctors to launch their strike for justice on Tuesday….reports Asian Lite News

NHS HospitalJunior doctors working with the NHS will go on strike as talks failed to reach a deal over government’s new contracts. The meeting between the British Medical Association (BMA) and NHS Employers were “constructive”, but unable to prevent industrial action beginning on Tuesday, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) said.

Talks will continue next week in a bid to stop further days of strike action taking place. Junior doctors are set to provide emergency care only from 8am on Tuesday.

The strikes will lead to disruption for thousands of NHS patients. Suspended strike action in November led to the cancellation of thousands of operations, procedures and appointments. Some of the areas disputed by the BMA include the issue of weekend pay.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said the talks on Monday lasted less than an hour before BMA doctors walked out.

An Acas spokesman said: “Talks have been held under the auspices of Acas between the established team for the BMA and the NHS team.

“A very helpful stock-take of issues took place. Unfortunately, whilst talks have been constructive and will continue next week, the parties are not able to prevent the industrial action planned for January 12 2016.”

Tuesday’s strike will be followed by a 48-hour stoppage and the provision of emergency care only from 8am on January 26.

On February 10, there will be a full withdrawal of labour from 8am to 5pm. The industrial action was launched after Hunt unveils plans to cut the number of hours on a weekend for which junior doctors can claim extra pay for unsocial hours. Currently, 7pm to 7am Monday to Friday and the whole of Saturday and Sunday attract a premium rate of pay.

Under the Government’s offer, junior doctors would receive time and a half for any hours worked Monday to Sunday between 10pm and 7am, and time and a third for any hours worked between 7pm and 10pm on Saturdays and 7am and 10pm on Sundays.

Junior doctors would also receive on-call availability allowances, ranging from 2% to 6% of basic pay, as well as payment for work undertaken as a result of being on-call.

BMA council chair Mark Porter said the association had sought conciliation talks because it was clear that it wanted to agree a contract that was ‘good for patients, junior doctors and the NHS’.

However, he said: ‘After weeks of further negotiations, it is clear that the Government is still not taking junior doctors’ concerns seriously.

‘Furthermore, the Government has repeatedly dragged its feet throughout this process, initially rejecting our offer of talks and failing to make significant movement during negotiations.

‘We sincerely regret the disruption that industrial action will cause, but junior doctors have been left with no option. It is because the Government’s proposals would be bad for patient care as well as junior doctors in the long term that we are taking this stand.’

NHS Services Will Be Disrupted on: 

  • 8am, Tuesday 12 January to 8am, Wednesday 13 January — emergency care only
  • 8am, Tuesday 26 January to 8am Thursday 28 January — emergency care only
  • 8am to 5pm, Wednesday 10 February — full withdrawal of labour

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