More than half of Britons support doctors’ walkout
A new survey in the UK reveals that more than half of Britons support the recent all-out strike by junior doctors across England.
According to the poll published by the British daily, The Independent, 58 percent of respondents agreed that the doctors were right to strike over the government’s decision to impose a new contract on them, even though the walkout affected accident and emergency services.
The survey of 2,000 people was conducted between Wednesday and Friday. Only 31 percent opposed doctors’ move.
The results come as a relief to the British Medical Association (BMA) which represents the junior doctors, amid fears that hitting emergency care would reduce public support for their action.
The strike, held on April 26 and 27, came after years of talks on the new contract broke down and the government announced in February that it would impose the contract in August.
The British government had proposed a contract which extended National Health Service’s (NHS) work to seven days a week while reducing the pay for working on the weekend.
The last round of negotiations between the government and the BMA collapsed in January, prompting the government to announce that the contracts would be imposed in summer.
The strongest support for the striking doctors was among 18-24 year-olds, 68 percent of whom backed the strike and only 18 percent believed it was wrong.
Support for the doctors’ action was highest in Scotland (69 percent), which was not affected by the strikes, the North East (64 percent) and the West and East Midlands (both 60 percent). It was at its lowest in Yorkshire and Humberside (48 percent).