In their battle for a 26 percent pay increase, junior doctors in England have decided to go on strike.
British Medical Association members are now anticipated to participate in a 72-hour walkout, possibly as early as mid-March.
The union claimed that once inflation was taken into account, the requested increase would make up for pay cuts that had occurred since 2008.
However, experts claimed that the decrease in pay for junior doctor roles is less if a different measure of inflation is used.
Nearly 48,000 members of the BMA, or more than two-thirds of the junior doctor workforce, who work in hospitals and the community participated in the ballot.
More than 75% of those who were asked to vote participated, and 98.5% chose to take action.
Dr. Robert Laurenson, co-chair of the BMA junior doctors committee, claimed that the vote demonstrated the intensity of opinion on the subject.
"In the name of our profession, our patients, and our NHS, doctors won't take it any longer, we voted in the thousands because we are frustrated, in despair, and angry. '.
"The government is solely to blame for allowing our members to be forced to make this difficult choice while remaining silently indifferent. ".
The outcomes come as nurses and ambulance personnel issue a warning that they will intensify their industrial action in their pay dispute.
The majority of frontline services in England will experience a 48-hour strike by members of the Royal College of Nursing next week.
Since its mandate has expanded from five of England's ten ambulance services to nine, Unison, the largest union in the ambulance service, is anticipated to announce additional strike dates.
The last time junior doctors—those who have recently graduated from medical school to those with years of experience on the front lines—went on strike was in 2016 over a newly introduced contract.
As part of a four-year agreement that saw an overall rise of 8% from 2019–20 to 2022–2023, junior doctors' pay increased by 2% this year.
Junior doctors currently start out at a base salary of £29,000, but once additional compensation for things like working odd hours is taken into account, average earnings exceed £40,000.
Basic pay is greater than £53,000 when training is complete, which for some can take 15 years.
These doctors are in positions of great authority, managing teams, performing surgery, and making critical decisions.
In total, they make up more than 40% of the medical workforce.
The Department of Health and Social Care reported that in addition to an 8 point two percent pay increase spread over four years, the current agreement also added higher pay bands for the most experienced staff members and higher rates for night shifts.
The BMA and Health Secretary Steve Barclay met to discuss pay and working conditions, according to Barclay. In the upcoming months, it is anticipated that the pay award for the fiscal year 2023–2024 will be made public.
Mr. Barclay continued, "We highly value the work of junior doctors and it is deeply disappointing that some union members have voted for strike action.
According to BMA sources, the 26 percent pay demand does not necessarily have to be paid all at once; however, strike action would continue until the government agreed to restore pay.
As it waits for more information from ministers regarding their pay plans in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, the BMA has not yet made up its mind about going on strike elsewhere in the UK.
The possibility of a 72-hour strike is "extremely worrying," according to Saffron Cordery of NHS Providers, which represents health managers.
"If we are to protect patients from harm, a quick solution is required. ".
Junior doctors will abandon both routine and emergency care, despite the fact that they are only permitted to leave life-and-limb emergencies if the NHS has found other staff to take their place.
A large number of previously scheduled procedures, including knee and hip replacements, had to be postponed as a result of the 2016 walkout.