Health Minister Urged To Urgently Engage With BMA

The Alliance Party has called on the Health Minister to urgently engage with the British Medical Association to resolve the ongoing dispute over pay and conditions for junior doctors, after they voted to take strike action for the first time.

The industrial action is set to take place on 06 March, with almost 98 per cent of those balloted in favour of the strike.

Making the call, Alliance Health spokesperson Danny Donnelly MLA, said: "Our health service is struggling from disgracefully long waiting lists and extreme pressures within the system.
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"It's clear the current state of the health service is having an impact on workforce recruitment and retention, and ultimately patient safety. Pay and conditions for doctors in Northern Ireland are now lagging far behind the rest of the UK. The size of the result of the ballot is an indication of the strength of feeling among junior doctors here.

"I would encourage the Health Minister to urgently engage with the British Medical Association with a view to resolving the current dispute in a timely manner before any planned strike takes place.

"Junior doctors play a vital role in the delivery of healthcare services across the system and as such industrial action would have a hugely disruptive effect on an already strained service."

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