Junior Doctors Strike Action Has Backing of General Public

Under the premise that Emergency care stays unaffected, today (12/01/16) junior doctors across the UK are on strike with the backing of the UK public.  This is according to a survey run by IPSOS MORI and BBC Newsnight. 

Overall 66% of respondents said they support the strike, and 16% oppose it. Doctors have ensured that emergency care for the 24 hour period from Tuesday 0800 is scheduled, which is just as well due to a drop in public support to 44% if emergency cover is not provided.  

A further strike is planned for Tuesday 26 January, in which emergency care will again be staffed.  A full walk-out - with junior doctors providing no emergency cover - is set for Wednesday 10 February.  The Newsnight poll, commissioned jointly with Health Service Journal, was of 869 adults in England.

The UK's junior doctors are striking over the prospect of a new contract in England, whearas Scotland and Wales have both said they will be sticking to their existing contracts, with Northern Ireland yet to make a decision.

NHS England estimates nearly 4,000 operations and procedures out of 31,000 will be cancelled because of the strike.

It says everything possible is being done to provide safe emergency care and minimise the impact on patients.

Only 8% of those polled said junior doctors are striking over their contract.

More than 60% said junior doctors are taking this action because of working conditions - such as long hours - or over pay. Eight per cent cited "politics" as a reason for the strike.

Prime Minister David Cameron has said that  "This strike is not necessary" and has called on doctors to return to the negotiation table.  This was said on the eve of the proposed walkout - "it will be damaging," Cameron also added.  The late as today NHS, doctors have been out in full force across the UK.

Posted on Tuesday Jan 12