To exert pressure on the government to raise their wages, junior doctors have embarked on their longest-running pay strike to date.

Doctors walking out, them striking along the picket lines with signs urging for bigger pay, isn’t a new scenario in the streets of England. And yet, as demonstrated by another strike this Christmas, not much has changed to allay their worries.

The Pay Strike

Two medical professionals have spoken up to express the sentiments of their colleagues and the reasons behind their protests during this hectic period.

Joseph Kendall, a psychiatrist, described a “massive brain drain” and a “feeling of desertion” from the nation because physicians are drowning in debt. He added that an increasing number of colleagues are choosing to work abroad due to pay concerns.

Junior physician Sumi Manirajan also informed the media about the doctors leaving the NHS to work in Australia and New Zealand, which is creating gaps in the rotations and causing the remaining doctors to become “burned out” trying to make ends meet.

Nine-day strike

According to numerous sources, junior physicians began joining picket lines at 0700 GMT as part of an initial six-day strike, which will be followed by a six-day walkout beginning January 3.

By drastically cutting back on services during the busiest time of year through the nine-day strike, the junior doctors hope to put pressure on the government and health officials to make a better offer regarding their pay.

Industrial action

According to junior doctors, they are forced to prolong their ‘industrial action‘, which began earlier this year, since a variety of issues, largely related to years of ‘below-inflation compensation,’ have not been resolved.

Hospitals that are on strike will operate on a reduced care schedule, akin to that of public holidays, when regular appointments and procedures are canceled or postponed and only emergency care is available.

At a cost of almost 2 billion pounds ($2.5 billion), the strikes that have been plaguing the NHS since last year have already disrupted over a million appointments and procedures.

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