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Northern Ireland: Junior doctors on picket line are at “breaking point”

BMJ 2024; 384 doi: (Published 08 March 2024) Cite this as: BMJ 2024;384:q597
  1. Emma Wilkinson
  1. Sheffield

Junior doctors in Northern Ireland have said that they went on strike this week to protect patient care amid a “haemorrhaging” of doctors to countries with better pay and conditions.

Speaking to The BMJ from the picket line on 6 March during a 24 hour walkout at Ulster Hospital in Belfast, doctors said that they were at breaking point. This is the first time junior doctors in Northern Ireland have gone on strike, after 97.6% voted in favour of taking industrial action in a BMA ballot on pay restoration.

Rebecca Mercer, a foundation year 2 (FY2) doctor currently working in the emergency department, had come to support the strike in between two night shifts. She said, “Conditions have got to …

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