#Doctors go on strike in England for the first time in 40 years – Socialized Medicine Fails
Thousands of doctors have gone on strike in England as a bitter, long-running dispute with the government over pay and working hours finally came to a head.
Junior doctors began a 24-hour walkout at 8 a.m. Tuesday, causing about 4,000 hospital operations and procedures to be canceled, as well as appointments for checkups and tests. Emergency departments are still being staffed, and striking doctors have agreed to return to their posts in cases of major incidents.
But the impact on patients and hospitals will be felt. The 55,000 junior doctors in England make up about one-third of the medical workforce, though only the 37,700 members of the British Medical Association have been called out on strike.
In the BMA’s strike ballot in November, a whopping 98% of junior doctors voted in favor of industrial action, the first by doctors in 40 years. The dispute is over changes to their contract, which would see the medics get an 11% boost in basic pay, but be called on to work weekend hours as standard. That would see them lose extra pay for working “antisocial” hours.
So just how much is at issue? Basic pay for a junior doctor is about £23,000 ($33,000), though it can reach up to £70,000, depending on specialty and stage of training.
That’s because while they are “junior,” or doctors in training, that covers everything from recent medical school grads right up to nine-year veterans on the cusp of becoming consultants. At the top end, they could be managing teams, performing surgery or making crucial life-changing decisions.
The average pay, though, is around £37,000, according to broadcaster BBC.
Continued at MarketWatch: Doctors go on strike in England for the first time in 40 years
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