As doctors today (June 21st) go on strike for the first time since 1975, patients are being assured that urgent care will still be provided.
Some four out of five members of the British Medical Association (BMA) voted for the walk-out over a pension dispute.
Dr Hamish Meldrum, chairman of council at the BMA, explained that in 2008 doctors worked to reform their pension scheme to ensure it would be "sustainable" amid rising life expectancies.
However, the profession is being asked to work up to 68 years of age and contribute more money into the system, causing many to take exception to the government's pension policy.
"Doctors have to pay up to twice as much as civil servants on the same pay for the same pension," Dr Meldrum said.
"Doctors accept the need to play their part in improving public finances. We don’t expect better pensions or preferential treatment, just fair treatment."
Nonetheless, the BMA maintains that patient safety is still their key priority and has made provisions for the delivery of emergency care.
The government is also making it clear that GP surgeries will still be open and all standing appointments will be going ahead unless a patient has been contacted to say otherwise.
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