As doctors across the country prepare to take part in the first strike for 40 years, a survey shows that three quarters of GP surgeries will be open as normal.
The strike is in response to the pension changes put forward by the government. Under the plans, the age at which doctors retire in England and Wales would rise from 65 to 68, and their pension contributions will increase.
Whilst 79 per cent of the British Medical Association (BMA) members voted for the walk out, a survey by GP magazine Pulse shows that just one in four GP surgeries are expected to take part.
Surgeries have been asked to give advance notice if doctors plan to take action, but only 281 of 1,265 practises have told their NHS managers that they will be taking part in a strike- 22 per cent. Walk outs have been completely ruled out in some practises.
Doctor Sarah Wollaston, Tory MP for Totnes and former GP, said: "Most doctors, when it comes down to the day, will be putting their patients first.
“Just talking to GPs I know, many of them are telling me that they are planning to work but might put a notice of support or something in the window."
Nurses and Midwives are supporting the strike, after the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Midwives have told staff not to ‘undermine’ the decision of doctors tomorrow.
Chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing Peter Carter said: “What is important is that people who see a doctor, do see a doctor. It is not appropriate for any other discipline to fill in.”
Tomorrow, doctors will be in their usual workplaces but providing urgent and emergency care only. Elective operations such as knee replacements will be postponed for people without health insurance.
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