SOME doctors’ surgeries across the Isle of Wight are set to stage a one-day strike this week but emergency appointments won’t be affected.
The move follows a national ballot by the British Medical Association (BMA), which is in opposition to increases to pension contributions and a later retirement age for doctors.
Dr Nigel Watson, the Island’s BMA representative said: "At this stage, we don’t know how many surgeries on the Isle of Wight will be joining in with the action. Practices are still sending letters to the Primary Care Trust (PCT) to say whether they are joining in. Even if they are, surgeries will still remain open and doctors will be at work."
The BMA maintains the national industrial action — lined up for Thursday and the first for nearly 40 years — is necessary, will not affect safety and those with the most serious needs would still be seen.
Dr Watson added: "Patients will not be affected by the industrial action. Only routine appointments, such as blood pressure checks and other non-emergency appointments that can be will be re-scheduled for another day, will be."
Notices have already gone up at South Wight Medical Practices in Niton, Godshill and Brighstone stating they will be open as normal.
A spokesperson for St Mary’s Hospital said: "The NHS has robust plans for all types of contingencies, including industrial action. These are tested and kept under continual review to ensure any impact on patients is kept to an absolute minimum.
"Discussions are ongoing with representatives and this will continue through to the proposed day of action. GP practices will be open and taking calls and will provide an emergency service for all clinically urgent matters.
"Patients with a hospital appointment should continue to attend their appointment as planned, unless they are contacted."