In England, junior doctors have begun the longest strike in the history of the NHS. The strike is expected to last six days. The doctors want to achieve better pay. The health system is facing a stress test.
"It's the longest strike we've ever faced," head of the NHS Association, Julian Hartley, told the BBC. A large part of the operations had to be postponed. In addition, there is always a lot going on after Christmas and New Year's Eve. The strike was scheduled to last from Wednesday until next Tuesday morning.
The chronically underfunded and understaffed NHS has been repeatedly rocked by waves of strikes for months. The government promised an average salary increase of 8.8 percent last year, the PA news agency reported. The doctors rejected this as not sufficient. Junior doctors make up a significant proportion of the medical workforce in England. This refers to doctors in training - they may have just completed their studies or have been working for the NHS for years.