Junior doctors committee member Dr Bea Bakshi told GPonline that juniors would ‘continue to escalate’ until they feel their voices are listened to by government.
NHS England said more than 5,000 procedures had been cancelled because of the 48-hour strike by non-emergency junior doctors which began at 8am Wednesday. A further two 48-hour strikes are planned for next month. Two 24-hour strikes were held in January and February.
Dr Bakshi, who also sits on the GPC trainees subcommittee, said ‘all option’ were on the table. ‘We have to consider all options to get the government to come back to the table for a negotiated settlement.’
Junior doctor strikes
Speaking from a picket line outside the Royal Marsden Hospital in west London Dr Bakshi added: ‘The reason why we haven't escalated to a full walkout is we genuinely don't want to strike. But after two 24-hour strikes and now three 48-hour strikes if the government is still not listening we have to consider all options that will force the government to listen.
‘We need to exert as much pressure as possible on the government to get them to come back and negotiate with us.’
A DH spokesman said: 'Patients have so far seen more than 19,000 operations cancelled as a result of the BMA's irresponsible and unjustified industrial action. The new contract, 90% of which was agreed with the BMA, and endorsed by senior NHS leaders, is a very good deal for doctors and the NHS. It will mean an average 13.5% basic pay rise with a cap on the number of long shifts worked to improve safety. We urge junior doctors to look at the detail.'
More on the junior doctors' strike
- Jeremy Hunt says imposing junior doctor contract was 'right thing to do'
- Junior doctors slam 'bullying' government as 48-hour walkout begins
- Video: David Cameron must step in to resolve dispute, says junior doctors leader
- Video: I'm terrified the government won't back down, says leading GP trainee