LONDON: Junior doctors in English hospitals went on strike again on Wednesday, withdrawing all but emergency care in their fourth walk-out in a bitter dispute with the government over working conditions.
More than 5,000 procedures and operations in the state-run National Health Service (NHS) have been postponed as a result of the 48-hour action, which began at 0700 GMT.
The Department of Health condemned the strike as “irresponsible and disproportionate”, noting that almost 25,000 operations have now been cancelled due to walk-outs since January.
Johann Malawana, chairman of the junior doctors committee at the British Medical Association (BMA) union, said it “deeply regrets” the disruption but had “no choice”.
A new contract imposed by the government “would be bad for the delivery of patient care in the long term”, he said, urging ministers to return to the negotiating table.