England (Parliament Politics Magazine) –According to the latest reports the NHS consultants in England have voted in favor of strike action as they seek to fight for more pay. Around 86% of the British Medical Association members are supporting the decision to walk out over what the union has described as pay cuts repeatedly.
The union has announced that the senior doctors will carry out a 48-hour walkout on 20 and 21 July. This will follow a five-day strike carried out by the junior doctors. This combination will lead to huge disruption as the services in the hospitals will be affected. Moreover, cancelled treatments could also be the result of the strike.
Senior Medical Experts Speak Out: Striking Is The Only Way Out
Consultants will provide the Christmas Day cover during their strike. This means that emergency care will be provided, but they will have a limited amount of routine work. The voting pattern showed how “furious” the doctors were. They have been repeatedly devalued by the government and this has led to the current situation.
Consultants are left with no option as the government has been continuously cutting off their pay year after year. It is still not too late to avert strike action. The government should come forward and provide them with an incredible offer. This strike by doctors next month is a huge risk for the NHS to manage.
Fallen Pay Rate Year The Real Cause Behind The Strike Action
Consultant pay for doctors has fallen 27% since 2008. The income taxes have been frozen, and the addition of a 45% tax rate is for the highest earners. During 2022, the average NHS earnings have exceeded £126,000 for consultants.
This will include extra pay for additional hours and performance. The consultants are not just asking for the full pay restoration in one go. They also want to see the government start by giving them pay rises that can match inflation.
Senior NHS doctors in England vote for 48-hour strike from 20 July, meaning some operations likely to be cancelled https://t.co/ulodW10SDM
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) June 27, 2023
Last year the consultants saw an increase of 4.5% in pay which is less than half the rate of RPI inflation. No formal pay offer was made for this year yet. Junior doctors have also been offered a 5% rise this year as they were in talks with the government.
Meanwhile, a ballot by the Royal College of Nursing did not manage to get enough turnout to provide the union a mandate as they continued the strike action.
Senior Doctors Demand Fair Pay Rise
That result was also announced on Tuesday as this means that the long-running dispute with nurses has now come to an end. This will be an unmitigated disaster for the government and will be a risk to the patients. The strike move could be intolerable to the NHS. Rishi Sunak will not be able to sit back like a passive observer and cannot let it go ahead.
He will have to do some immediate negotiations with the doctors as these strikes should come to an end. Strikes are hugely disruptive as this could leave a bad effect on the patients being treated at the hospitals.
BMA Must Carefully Consider The Impact Of The Action on Patients
The BMA announced late last week that thousands of junior doctors will be going on a strike across England for five days. This will be the longest strike in the history of the NHS. The strike will go on from 7 am on 13 July until 7 am on 18 July. It could result in thousands of cancelled operations and appointments.
The voting shows how furious the consultants and doctors are as they are being repeatedly devalued by the government. NHS’s “most experienced and highly skilled clinicians will rather choose early retirement or they might even think to leave the country. This would be devastating for services and the patients. The future of the NHS could also be a threat.
Most routine and elective services are going to be cancelled and patient safety and emergency care must be prioritized. This is similar to the level of services that is typically available on Christmas Day. This six-week lead time given by the ballot’s launch can enable consultants and colleagues to place their early plans and also manage the patients’ urgent care.