Doctors play a very important role in society. People depend on doctors for healthcare and treatments. Strike actions by doctors can have a serious impact on patients’ health. It is not an easy decision. If on-duty doctors choose to carry out strikes instead of work, then they may be violating the pillars of non-maleficence and beneficence. If the patient is in a life or death situation, strict legal actions can be taken against the doctor who was supposed to look after them.

On the contrary, some may argue that doctors are humans just like other workers. Their wishes and needs should be attended to by the government. Doctors usually go on strike due to long working hours and the shortage of workforce. Such unhealthy conditions can cause the staff members to fatigue both physically and mentally. This will deteriorate their health and cause them to develop stress and high blood pressure. Such working conditions are neither suitable for doctors nor for patients. It is important for doctors to remain healthy so they can treat patients more effectively.

Strikes in the United Kingdom are much more difficult to carry out compared to other countries. Most of the patients in the UK depend on public healthcare rather than private healthcare. However, the populations of countries such as India and China depend mainly on private healthcare than public healthcare. Since doctors in private hospitals and clinics are paid well and have shorter working hours, they do not need to partake in strikes. In the UK, most of the patients rely on NHS for treatments. Therefore, it is difficult for doctors in the NHS to go on strikes.

Doctors should be given the right to strike because they are humans and their needs should be fulfiled just like other workers. However, strikes should be carried out in an organised and professional manner. Steps should be taken to ensure that there is a minimal compromise with patient care. On-duty doctors should not be allowed to strike as this would cause harm to patients. Emergency care should not be stopped as there are many life or death situations in the A&E department. The junior doctors’ strike was organised so that there was little to no harm was done to the patients’ health. Emergency cover was not withdrawn except on the last day of the strike (26th April 2016). There was no significant effect on the number of recorded deaths.

A doctor’s duty of care to patients can be quite hectic. Doctors need to face the fact that a patient’s life is in their hands. A single mistake can cause the patient much suffering and pain. Doctors even need to face the deaths of patients on many occasions. Such experiences, together with long working hours, can cause doctors to feel overworked and stressed. Therefore, it is important for their employers to give them sufficient time off from work to allow them to remain healthy enough to treat their patients efficiently.