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British Medical Association suspends junior doctor strike planned for next week

PUBLISHED: 12:16 19 January 2016 | UPDATED: 12:16 19 January 2016

A doctor wears a badge next to her stethoscope in support of the Junior Doctor's contract

A doctor wears a badge next to her stethoscope in support of the Junior Doctor's contract

48 hours of industrial action was originally scheduled for January 26-28

A junior doctors strike planned for next week has been suspended.

A spokesperson for the British Medical Association (BMA), the trade union and professional body for 170,000 doctors in the UK, said: “Yesterday, and on the basis of early progress made in the current set of talks with the government, the junior doctors committee made the decision to suspend the 48-hour industrial action planned for January 26-28.

“We are announcing this today in order to give trusts as much notice as possible so as to avoid disruption to patients.

“This decision is in line with our stated aim to ensure a safe, fair contract through negotiated agreement, if at all possible.

“The action which junior doctors across England took last week sent a clear message to the government and the negotiating team is now focusing on reaching a resolution to meet your concerns.”

Members of the union took action last Tuesday as part of an ongoing dispute over proposed new contracts.

The doctors claim that the new contracts put forward by health secretary Jeremy Hunt will mean they are working more antisocial hours for less pay, and will mean less time is provided for research on key areas such as cancer or dementia.

Last week was the first time such industrial action had been called in for over 40 years.

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