Junior doctors in England have begun a five-day strike over pay and staff retention across the National Health Services (NHS).
Many planned appointments will be delayed which will cause a major disruption for patients.
The five-day strike which started July 13, will last until Tuesday July 18.
The strike escalates the stand-off with Rishi Sunak’s Conservative government, which is battling to contain inflation and has offered doctors a 5 per cent rise this year. The British Medical Association(BMA), the doctors’ union, has rejected this.
Negotiations between the BMA and the government remain deadlocked, with chancellor Jeremy Hunt refusing to borrow more money to fund a 6 per cent public sector pay rise recommended by independent pay review bodies for 2023-24.
The BMA, which has demanded a 35 per cent pay rise, urged health secretary Stephen Barclay to follow the lead of the Scottish government, which last week averted strikes by agreeing a 17.5 per cent pay deal over two years with the Scottish BMA.
Junior doctors make up half of all hospital’s doctors and are asking for a raise to make up for below inflation pay rises over 15years.