London: Consultants, Junior Doctors Stage Unprecedented Walk Out Disrupting Healthcare

Tue Sep 19 2023
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LONDON: The National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom is bracing for an unprecedented walkout as consultants and junior doctors join forces in a historic joint strike set to disrupt almost all planned care.

This industrial action marks a significant development in the ongoing healthcare worker strikes, which have already led to the rescheduling of over 885,000 inpatient and outpatient appointments.

The strike commences with consultants on Tuesday, followed by junior doctors on Wednesday (20th September). During the joint strike on Wednesday, both groups will operate at staffing levels typically seen on Christmas day, ensuring the provision of emergency care while significantly reducing planned services.

Subsequently, consultants and junior doctors plan to strike on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th of October, once again offering only Christmas Day cover.

With nearly ten months of ongoing industrial action, the NHS has already witnessed disruptions to patient care, resulting in 45,800 disrupted appointments and approximately 6,000 staff members absent per day during previous consultant strikes.

The NHS emphasizes the importance of patients continuing to use healthcare services as needed during this period. In life-threatening situations, the public should dial 999 or visit A&E, while other health concerns can be addressed through the NHS 111 online service. General practitioners (GPs) and pharmacies remain available for health advice and appointments as usual.

Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS National Medical Director, acknowledges the enormity of this historic industrial action and expresses gratitude to the public for their responsible use of NHS services. He urges the public to prioritize emergency care when necessary while using other healthcare resources wisely. Patients with existing appointments are encouraged to attend as scheduled unless notified otherwise.

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