BMA consultants and specialist doctors in Wales vote for 48-hour strike

Credit: PA

Junior doctors strike in England
One of Wales' biggest union announced that thousands of doctors have voted to go on strike. Credit: PA Images

Thousands of consultants and specialist doctors in Wales have voted to strike over pay next month.

The British Medical Association (BMA) announced their members had overwhelmingly voted for 48-hour industrial action on Tuesday 16 April.

The union argues doctor's pay has been cut by almost a third in real terms since 2008/09 and want to see competitive rates of pay and better staffed wards.

The Welsh Government say they want to pay doctors more, but cannot afford to without more support from the UK Government.

According to the BMA union, more than 80% of consultants in Wales voted in favour of a 48-hour walkout.

Junior doctors from the BMA have already been on strike twice this year over pay and conditions.

The union says it is committed to maintaining enough cover to ensure doctors can provide emergency care.

Dr Stephen Kelly, chair of the BMA’s consultants committee in Wales, said: “This has been an incredibly difficult decision. No doctor wants to strike, but the conditions now faced in the workplace caused by the extreme pressures on the service and unsafe staffing levels have left doctors with no choice.

“Colleagues are now choosing to retire early, reduce their hours or move out of Wales where pay is competitive, and wards better staffed.

“Unless doctors are better valued for the work they do, more and more doctors will leave an NHS already under severe pressure in Wales.”

Consultant and SAS doctors make up over half of the hospital-based medical workforce combined. Credit: PA Images

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: "While we recognise the strength of feeling among members, we are disappointed by the ballot outcome by the BMA and its consultant and specialist doctor members.

“We agree with the principle of pay restoration and will continue to press the UK Government to pass on the funding necessary for full and fair pay rises for public sector workers.

"Without that additional funding, we are not in a position to currently offer any more.

“The 5% increase for 2023-24 is at the limits of the finances available to us and reflects the agreement reached with the other health unions for this year.

“We remain committed to working in social partnership with the British Medical Association and are available for further talks at any stage."

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