Today doctors in the UK are on strike for the first time in nearly 40 years. The dispute, organised by the British Medical Association, is largely over changes to doctors' pensions schemes which they consider unnecessary and unfair, threats of pay cuts and the impact on other NHS workers are also of concern.
It is unclear at this stage what the impact of the strike will be. Doctors will still attend their hospitals or surgeries, but will deal with urgent and emergency cases only. Not all doctors are participating in the strike, 20% of UK hospitals have refused to take industrial action, along with 21% of GPs and 15.7% of hospital consultants (that are members of the BMA).
In the run up to the strike public opinion appeared to stand against the strike, with patients concerned about the provision of services, and critical of doctors' right to strike in the first place. However, today as the action is taken more people have spoken out in support of the doctors and their defence of their pay and pensions:
However, some of the criticism remains especially regarding doctors' already high pay and pensions: