Published Thursday, 21 June 2012
Doctors will see patients but will not fill out paperwork during the strike. (© Getty)
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Both GPs and hospital doctors will be involved in industrial action for the first time in nearly 40 years.
It is understood they will see anyone who is ill, but will not complete any paperwork - people have been advised to only use services if there is an urgent need.
The trade union NIPSA has asked its members to congregate at Cornmarket in Belfast city centre to express their support for staff who cannot take part.
Brian Campfield from the union said: "We are asking our members to publicly support the doctors' industrial action in the knowledge that the doctors themselves will be unable to leave their places of work because they are committed to safeguarding patients who may require urgent or emergency treatment.
"The government needs to wake up and recognise that the campaign to oppose its attacks on public services and public sector employees is intensifying.
"Inevitably it will be forced to retreat from its existing policies which have proved disastrous for both the community and the economy."
The NI Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions are also in support of the doctors' strike.
Vice-Chair Brian Campfield said they are taking action "to defend their pensions from a government which is unwilling to negotiate or compromise".
"All trade unionists should support this strike, as the issue is not the present salaries or pensions of Doctors, but the principle of resistance to the unnecessary and ideologically-driven austerity programme of the Westminster government," he said.
"The hospital porters and cleaners and technicians who went out on strike last November were observing the same principle. The real issue is the bad faith of the Tories and their determination to make public servants pay for the incompetence and greed of the private sector elites who caused the economic crisis."
UK Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has claimed that up to 1.25m GP appointments will be delayed for days or even weeks, while up to 30,000 operations and 200,000 hospital outpatient appointments could be rescheduled.
He wrote to the British Medical Association on Tuesday with a final offer of a £68,000-a-year pension, urging the union to re-think the plans to strike.
A BMA spokesperson said: "We deeply regret the disruption this will cause for patients - though we are adamant that patient safety will not be affected."