Fury as junior doctors told to enjoy picnics, five-a-side football and even hikes on strike days | The Sun

STRIKING junior doctors should picnic, play 5-a-side football or go on a hike rather than picket provoking fury amid Covid backlogs.

The medics have been told to enjoy their downtime by the British Medical Association ahead of a five-day strike as 7.4 million people wait for treatment.

Members have been told to join a picket for just two hours on Thursday before taking part in  activities on Friday and Monday.

The group says: “Organise a strike hike, go on a picnic, set up a 5-a-side match. Doctors are overworked and underpaid – – your physical and mental health matters.

“Over the weekend, spend time with friends and family or simply recharge for the week ahead. We are in this for the long haul.”

They add:  “By focusing our time and energy on one day, we will show our unity and determination is unwavering. We’ll show we won’t back down.”

There have been more than 650,000 appointments and operations cancelled during industrial action with walkouts from junior doctors, nurses and paramedics.

Tory MP Kevin Foster last night said: “This is a slap in the face for patients who are waiting for treatment and hospital appointments who will miss out.

“No one in government, the opposition or devolved government believes their demands of 35 per cent are realistic. They need a new strategy.”

The walkout from BMA members in England  is being described as the longest walkout in the history of the NHS.

They have threatened to walk out “indefinitely” if the government refuses to give in to their demands of a 35 per cent hike to bring the industrial action to a close.

Rishi Sunak and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will meet in the coming days as decide on public sector pay awards.

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The Prime Minister said he would be guided by “fairness” to taxpayers and public sector workers without increasing inflation.

The duo are still considering whether to accept the recommendations of the pay review bodies to offer millions of workers hikes of around 6 per cent.

Reports suggest teachers should get 6.5 per cent for 2023/24 while police officers, prison officers and junior doctors in line for 6 per cent or more which could cost £5 billion.

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