JUNIOR DOCTORS have taken to the streets to protest against what they believe to be an 'injustice', being underpaid and overworked, as the health sector faces a tremendous blow during the 4-day strike.

The British Medical Association (BMA) Junior Doctors strike will be one of the longest strikes yet, as medical staff claim they are working long hours caring for the country's sick and in need, for as little as £13.65 per hour.

Dr Oba Babs-Osibodu and Dr Peter Fahey, co-chairs of BMA Cymru Wales’ Junior Doctors committee, said:

"It’s extremely sad and frustrating that we find ourselves here again, our third strike and our longest yet. We don’t want to be in this position but again, faced with inaction, we are left with no choice.


“We want to reiterate that the strikes can be called off at any time if the Welsh Government put forward a credible pay offer to form the basis of talks."

Pay restoration

The BMA has said junior doctors are giving lifesaving care after years of training with £100k of student debt, and "are they worth £13.65 an hour in Wales?"

A £13.65 per hour wage translates to approximately £28,392 per year.

The British Medical Journal has created a visualisation to show the changes in real terms pay since 2008.


The co-chairs of BMA WJCD have also said: “We will continue our fight for fair pay for all doctors working in the NHS. 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."

Dr James Calvert, medical director for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB), said this strike is set to be "far more disruptive to patients than we would want and will leave our services enormously stretched".

How will the strike affect patients?

Dr Calvert of ABUHB said they health board has been able to arrange medical cover in the past "to minimise the disruption to patients".

As this strike is in the Easter holidays, "it hasn’t been possible for us to obtain the same level of staffing cover for all areas and it will undoubtedly impact on the timeliness of the patient care we are able to deliver."

Dr Calvert of ABUHB has urged local residents to avoid attending the hospitals if they can help it "unless absolutely necessary" to minimise the pressure on staff that are working over the next few days.

The Aneurin Bevan University Health Board have also said that waiting times in the emergency departments may be even longer.

Patients are being referred to 111, GP surgeries and local pharmacies (for minor illnesses or injuries). 

If patients have pre-booked appointments at a hospital in Gwent, the appointment booking team will be in touch if their appointment will be affected. If they haven't been in touch, they should go to their appointment as normal.

A spokesperson for The BMA WJDC said: "More than 3,000 doctors with up to 11 years of experience out of medical school are expected to withdraw their labour from Welsh hospitals and GP surgeries across Wales in pursuit of a fairer deal for their service."

Pickets and demonstrations for the strike action began on Monday, March 25, from 7am to 11am outside hospitals across Wales. The strikes will last until 7am on Friday, March 29.

Since the last junior doctor strike Consultants and SAS (specialist, associate specialist, and speciality) doctors have voted to strike as part of a dispute with the Welsh Government over their pay too.

Consultant and SAS doctors will take part in a 48-hour strike from 7am on Tuesday, April 16 until 7am on Thursday April 18.