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Health Secretary Calls For Junior Doctors To Cancel Strikes

BMA Northern Ireland strike

Junior doctors in England are urged to cancel their planned strikes later this month as experts warn that the walkout will compromise patient health. 

Health Secretary Victoria Atkins said the government cannot negotiate with medics during the pre-election period.

She said the five-day strike will significantly harm patients.

The Patients Association also criticised the planned action by members of the British Medical Association (BMA), stating that it would only disrupt patient care. 

The organisation said: “The timing of the action, with the UK now in a pre-election period and no government for the BMA to negotiate with, means there is no possibility for talks to prevent these strikes.

“The only thing the planned five-day strike at the end of June will achieve is disruption to patient care as appointments and procedures need to be rescheduled. 

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“Patients’ health will be compromised.”

BMA: "The upcoming strikes are happening because the Government, and Victoria Atkins have never made a credible offer to our members.”

This call for a strike comes after junior doctors presented Prime Minister Rishi Sunak with a "final chance" to avert the strikes in their ongoing dispute over pay. 

The union proposed to cancel the strikes, scheduled for Thursday, June 27.

But only if the government provided a written commitment to a detailed pathway for pay restoration.

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Victoria Atkins labelled the strikes as "cynical" and harmful to patients. 

She wrote in a letter posted on X: “You are now threatening to strike in the middle of an election campaign.

“This is a cynical move that will sadly cause patients awaiting treatment real harm.”

Atkins pointed out Cabinet Office guidelines ruled the government should not make an offer during the pre-election period.

The BMA wrote on X: “The upcoming strikes are happening because the Government, and Victoria Atkins have never made a credible offer to our members.”

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