Doctors walked out of York Hospital and onto the picket line on Tuesday (January 12) to join an unprecedented national strike.
The doctors are taking the action in protest at new contracts that the health secretary Jeremy Hunt wants to impose.
Many appointments and procedures have been postponed, but the doctors said that the A&E department was fully staffed and they would return to work in response to a major emergency.
Dr Veera Mirdavoudi, a junior doctor at York Hospital and a Yorkshire rep for the British Medical Association (BMA), said doctors were very angry at their treatment.
This is the first doctors’ strike for more than 40 years.
“It’s not something our profession would normally do,” Dr Mirdavoudi. “That’s probably the reason the government thought they could bully us.
“They have backed us into a corner.”
He said “everything revolves around patient safety”. The reorganisation would result in “overworked doctors, tired doctors” which was bad news for patient care.
Lots of drivers were honking their support as they passed the picket line on Wigginton Road this morning.
Dr Mirdavoudi said they had had “overwhelming support” from the public, and had an “understanding” with the York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust which runs the hospital.
Trust was prepared
York Hospital bosses have attempted to minimise the impact on patients of the strike.
Jenny Hey, deputy chief operating officer at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said:
Those who have not heard from us should assume their appointment or procedure is going ahead today as planned.
Patients were encouraged “to think about whether they need to visit the Emergency Department, which is there for people in serious or life threatening situations,” Ms Hey added.
“Patients can really help us by taking the appropriate action to treat their condition, which might mean contacting NHS 111 or attending a pharmacy.”