Senior doctors in England have announced a plan to go on their second mass strike this year over a long-standing pay dispute with the government.
Consultant-level doctors in Britain’s publicly-funded National Health Service (NHS) will strike on September 19 and 20, the British Medical Association (BMA) said in a statement on Monday.
“It is now 133 days since the Secretary of State last met with us … We are once again appealing to the health secretary to return to the table,” said the BMA Consultants Committee Chair Vishal Sharma.
According to Press TV, the government has, however, ruled out resuming negotiations.
“It is disappointing consultants have announced further strike dates affecting patients and hampering efforts to cut NHS waiting lists,” said a spokesperson for the government’s Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).
“We have accepted the independent pay review body recommendations in full, giving consultants a 6 percent pay rise … This pay award is final,” the official added.
Last month, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said “no amount of strikes will change” the government’s decision on public sector pay.
Thousands of senior doctors staged their first major strike in a decade last month in a move that triggered massive disruption to health services countrywide.
Thousands of planned appointments were postponed due to the walkout that spared only emergency care and a small amount of routine work.
The July strike came just two days after junior doctors ended their five-day walkout in their dispute with the government over pay.