Non-urgent operations could be cancelled and outpatient appointments are likely to be postponed when doctors go on strike next month.
It's the first time they have taken action in almost forty years. And, at one leading hospital today, managers were meeting to discuss contingency plans for the walkout.
The British Medical Association balloted more than 100 thousand members over strike action. 79 per cent of GPs voted in favour of it. As did 84 per cent of hospital consultants - and 92 per cent of junior doctors.
The strike is due to take place on June the 21st. But, some warn that just one day can lead to a tremendous backlog of cases.
It means thousands of doctors will not treat any non-urgent cases. The British Medical Association (BMA) said the strike will definitely go ahead, unless the Government come back to the table to discuss the changes to the terms and conditions of their pensions. They have also refused to rule out further action.Who will be affected by the strike?Out-patients in hospitals and GP surgeriesWhat type of appointments will be affected?Non-urgent hospital out-patient appointmentsElective, non-urgent surgery e.g. knee operations, hip operations, cataract removal, hernia repairNon-urgent appointments at GP surgeriesWhat type of appointments will not be affected?New cancer referrals and cancer surgery, including chemotherapyEmergency and urgent proceduresEmergency investigations and discharges for inpatientsAccident and Emergency (A&E) departmentsMaternity wardsPatients who turn up at a GP surgery who consider themselves in urgent need of attentionUrgent prescription requestsWill patients in hospitals be affected?
No, the BMA says patients in hospitals will not be affected. Doctors will be at work, they will just not be attending any non-emergency cases.I have an appointment scheduled for June 21st. What should I do?
At the moment, nothing. The BMA say that they will release more information in the coming days. GP practices will remain open and fully staffed on the day of the action, and anyone with an appointment on the day will be called over the next few weeks to reschedule.