Junior doctors in Wales begin 96-hour walkout

Junior doctors in Wales begin 96-hour walkout

The Welsh Junior Doctor Committee has joined the efforts for full pay restoration, highlighting the Welsh Labour’s concerned stance on prioritizing spending elsewhere rather than ensuring fair compensation for essential medical professionals. This is evident in The Senedd Cymru (Electoral Candidate Lists) Bill, which many consider to be the most perilous and detrimental legislation in the 25-year history of devolution.

In Wales, a foundation year 1 doctor earns a basic pay of £27,115, equating to £13.65 per hour for a 40-hour workweek (£14 per hour in England). Senior doctors in Wales have voted to strike over pay grievances, further emphasizing the critical need for fair compensation in the medical field amidst governmental priorities that seem to undervalue it.

Today (Monday 25th March) thousands of junior doctors in Wales begin the third round of strike action over their pay.

The 96-hour walkout, the longest yet will commence from 7 am on Monday 25th March to 7 am on Friday 29th March as the dispute over doctors’ pay which has been cut by almost a third (29.6%) since 2008/9 continues.

More than 3,000* doctors with up to 11 years of experience out of medical school are expected to withdraw their labour from Welsh hospitals and GP surgeries across Wales in pursuit of a fairer deal for their service.

Last December almost every junior doctor (98%) who took part in the ballot for industrial action voted to strike in pursuit of pay restoration**, a campaign to restore their pay.

The Welsh junior doctors committee decided to ballot members in August after being offered another below-inflation pay offer of 5% – the worst in the UK and lower than recommended by the DDRB (the review body for Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration).

Dr Oba Babs-Osibodu and Dr Peter Fahey, co-chairs of BMA Cymru Wales’ Junior Doctors Committee said:

“It’s extremely sad and frustrating that we find ourselves here again, our third strike and our longest yet. We don’t want to be in this position but again, faced with inaction, we are left with no choice.

“We want to reiterate that the strikes can be called off at any time if the Welsh Government put forward a credible pay offer to form the basis of talks.

“Whilst we continue to be undervalued, and disregarded for our work in the health service our resolve to restore our pay remains unbroken, enough is enough.

“Junior doctors are starting their careers earning £13.65*** an hour in Wales. Is that all they are worth? They are providing lifesaving care after training for years and are shouldering up to £100,000 of debt.

“We will continue our fight for fair pay for all doctors working in the NHS. It is no surprise that we are losing doctors as they search for better pay and conditions elsewhere. Losing our doctors at a time when waiting lists are at record highs will mean patients suffering more than they are already”

Pickets and demonstrations for the third round of strike action will take place on Monday 25th March, from 7.45am -11am outside hospitals across Wales.

Since the last junior doctor strike Consultants and SAS (specialist, associate specialist, and speciality) doctors have voted to strike as part of a dispute with the Welsh Government over their pay. Consultant and SAS doctors are set to take part in a 48-hour strike from 7 am, Tuesday 16 April to 7 am, Thursday 18 April****

The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK and a leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population.

The BMA is an association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.

According to Stats Wales, in June 2023 3,998 junior doctors are recorded as working in Wales. This includes specialist registrars, SHOs, FY1 and FY2

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