Junior doctors in England vote overwhelmingly to strike over pay, working hours

LONDON – Thousands of junior doctors in England have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike to protest proposed government changes to their contracts.

The action is expected to cause widespread disruption to the nation’s public health service, with many hospitals likely to cancel routine outpatient clinics and non-urgent operations. Doctors will provide emergency care only starting Dec. 1, and full walkouts are planned on Dec. 8 and 16.

Junior doctors — including many medics who have more than a decade of experience — have been locked for months in a bitter dispute with the Conservative government about pay packages and long working hours.

More than 37,000 doctors in England got a ballot and three-quarters took part in the vote. Of those who voted, 98 per cent were in favour of industrial action.