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Junior Doctors in Wales Begin Second 72-hour Full Walk Out Over Pay


Today thousands of junior doctors in Wales begin the second round of strike action over their pay.

The 72-hour full walkout from 7am on the 21 February to 7am on the 24 February could see over 3,000* doctors with up to 11 years of experience out of medical school 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 which has been eroded by almost a third (29.6%) since 2008/9.

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:

“We can call off this strike today if the Welsh Government put forward a credible pay offer to form the basis of talks.

“No doctor wants to strike but years of undervaluing our lifesaving service have led us here. Junior doctors in Wales have experienced a pay cut of 29.6 per cent in real terms over the last 15 years.

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

“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.

“We aren’t asking for a pay rise – we are asking for our pay to be restored in line with inflation back to 2008 levels, when we began to receive pay cuts in real terms. Pay needs to be fair and competitive with other healthcare systems across the world to retain and recruit doctors to provide the care that patients in Wales deserve.”

Business News Wales