DOCTORS have announced a new four-day strike next month as the row over pay continues to rumble on.
Junior medics will down tools for the fifth time from August 11 to August 15 in England, the British Medical Association said.
The union called on the Government to negotiate a new pay deal, having previously demanded rises of up to 35 per cent.
Junior doctors last walked out earlier this month for five days, causing more than 101,000 hospital appointments to be cancelled.
Dr Robert Laurenson, of the BMA, said: “It should never have got to the point where we needed to announce a fifth round of strike action.
“Our message today remains the same: act like a responsible government, come to the table to negotiate with us in good faith, and with a credible offer these strikes need not go ahead at all.
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“The Prime Minister has told us that talks are over. But it is not for Rishi Sunak to decide that negotiations are over before he has even stepped in the room.
“This dispute will end only at the negotiating table. If the PM was hoping to demoralise and divide our profession with his actions, he will be disappointed.”
It comes after BMA consultants earning six-figure salaries also downed tools last week, causing 67,762 appointments and operationsto be postponed.
Around 8,000 consultants joined in the strike, NHS figures show – less than half of the 20,741 who voted in favour of industrial action.
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A total of 8,037 staff walked out on the first day and 7,338 on the second.
X-ray and cancer scanning staff also started a two-day strike yesterday.
Dr Laurenson, who sparked controversy in April when he went on holiday while colleagues were on picket lines, said consultants and other medics were fully behind the junior doctors strike in August.
He said: “Consultants, along with our specialist and associate specialist colleagues, have covered crucial services during our strikes and those same consultants were also on their own picket lines last week.
“Mutual solidarity has been on display at hospital picket lines up and down the country: this is a profession united in its refusal to accept yet another pay cut.
“Junior doctors are not going anywhere however much Government might wish we would.
"The facts have not changed — we have lost more than a quarter of our pay in fifteen years and we are here to get it back.”
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