Hundreds of hospital appointments have had to be cancelled to cope with a planned all-out strike by junior doctors in Doncaster over the next two days.
The South Yorkshire staff will join thousands of others from across the country in the 48 hour walkout in dispute over pay and working hours.
At Doncaster Royal Infirmary there have been 672 non-urgent outpatients cancelled with a further 50 non-urgent operations put on hold.·
Mr Sewa Singh, medical director for Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals, said: “Providing safe and effective care to our patients is always our priority and in preparation for the strike action we have cancelled all non-urgent operations and clinic appointments.
“This has allowed us to work with our consultant medical, nursing and allied health professional staff to ensure that urgent and emergency care services are maintained and appropriately staffed.
“Patients, whose treatment has been postponed due to the action, have been contacted directly and made aware of the alternative arrangements. I urge everyone to consider alternatives like their GP, pharmacist, Doncaster Same Day Health Centre, the Minor Injuries Unit or the NHS 111 Advice Line, before attending the Emergency Department during this time.”
Protestors are set to gather at DRI this morning to take part in a march in support of the strike. The group will assemble at 10am and begin marching at 10.30am from the hospital to the town’s market place for a rally.
British Medical Association representative, Selene Chew, said: “The junior doctors are calling this demonstration as we want to highlight the danger this contract poses to the NHS.
“It will stretch an already over-stretched and understaffed NHS to breaking point, paving the way for privatisation.
“The imposed contract will cause doctors to tire and burn out quicker, it openly discriminates against female doctors and parents, leaving an unsustainable NHS workforce.
“It also has a wider implication on all NHS staff and social care. We want the public to know that we are fighting to save this NHS, our NHS, from an un-costed, un-modelled and understaffed service, which is unsafe for patients and unfair to doctors. The NHS is the most pure form of human compassion I know, and is worth fighting for.”