LONDON: Junior doctors in English hospitals went on strike again on Wednesday, withdrawing all but emergency care in their fourth walk-out in a bitter dispute with the government over working conditions.

More than 5,000 procedures and operations in the state-run National Health Service (NHS) have been postponed as a result of the 48-hour action, which began at 0700 GMT.

The Department of Health condemned the strike as “irresponsible and disproportionate”, noting that almost 25,000 operations have now been cancelled due to walk-outs since January.

Johann Malawana, chairman of the junior doctors committee at the British Medical Association (BMA) union, said it “deeply regrets” the disruption but had “no choice”.

A new contract imposed by the government “would be bad for the delivery of patient care in the long term”, he said, urging ministers to return to the negotiating table.

Published in Dawn, April 7th, 2016

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