London, Jan 12 (IANS) Thousands of junior doctors in Britain on Tuesday began a 24-hour strike over pay and working hours disputes with the country’s health authorities, a media report said.
The strike, which began at 8 a.m. (local time), is the first industrial action by the British junior doctors in nearly 40 years and hospital operations have been affected, Xinhua news agency reported.
About 37,000 of a total of 45,000 junior doctors took part in a vote in November last year and 98 percent of them voted for action.
The British government wanted to establish a “seven-day NHS” and proposed to introduce a new work contract for junior doctors, who believe the new contract would reduce protections for them.
The British Medical Association (BMA), the trade union and professional association for doctors and medical students in Britain, had tried to negotiate a new contract for junior doctors with the government but the talks failed to reach an agreement.