GPs bid to reassure patients as junior doctors go on strike

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HEALTH services will continue even if junior hospital doctors go on strike, GPs have said.

It comes as the long-running dispute between junior doctors and the government is set to lead to strikes this month and next. Non-emergency operations and hospital appointments are likely to be cancelled.

But Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport and South Eastern Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group clinical leaders Dr Jim Hogan, Dr David Chilvers and Dr Barbara Rushton are aiming to reassure residents.

A joint statement said: ‘We understand people may be worried about their care during the days of industrial action by junior doctors.

‘Non-essential work may be cancelled but emergency cover at our local hospitals, similar to that provided on a bank holiday, will be running, provided by consultants and other senior doctors who will not be on strike.

‘GP practices and walk-in centres in the city will be also open as usual.’

A 24-hour walk-out next Tuesday is due to be followed by a 48-hour strike on January 26, and a third day in February in the contract dispute.

Negotiations are continuing between the government and the British Medical Association.

The strikes are due to last from 8am next Tuesday to 8am on Wednesday. The second will run from 8am on January 26 to 8am on January 28.