Speaking as junior doctors working in England begin a 72-hour strike action, chair of BMA’s Northern Ireland Council, Tom Black, said: “Doctors across Northern Ireland offer our support and solidarity to junior doctors in England. No decision to strike is ever taken lightly. Such an overwhelming majority vote in favour of taking this action shows they felt they had no other option.
“We are monitoring the situation closely as to whether to ballot for industrial action. Make no mistake that all doctors and frontline healthcare workers here face the very same dangerous and mounting pressures as our colleagues in the rest of the UK. We also have the added and prolonged uncertainty of having no functioning Executive to deliver the change needed to support us and our patients.
“The level of dissatisfaction, low morale and burnout among doctors is as high as it has ever been. This is compounded by successive low pay awards combined with delays in receiving these awards. It also drives young doctors out of the health service to other countries and our more experienced doctors to retire early at a time when we need to recruit and retain them.”