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Rishi Sunak could face more NHS strikes next year

Junior doctors are poised to join nurses and ambulance workers in back-to-back strikes, and public support remains high.

It’s been an unprecedented week of strike action involving both nurses and ambulance workers – and the government still refuses to negotiate with NHS unions over pay. Anoosh Chakelian and Zoë Grünewald, the New Statesman’s political reporter, are joined by Dr Emma Runswick, a mental health doctor and deputy chair of council for the British Medical Association (BMA), a doctors’ trade union.

They discuss the poor pay and conditions that have led to strike action and why junior doctors might be next, plus the government’s refusal to consider pay negotiations, and the shadow health secretary Wes Streeting’s recent critique of the BMA. The team also covers the wider problems in the NHS after years of poor planning and underfunding – such as ambulance delays, staff shortages and long waiting lists – and whether these issues are changing patient attitudes towards the healthcare system.

Then in You Ask Us, a listener asks: with the NHS in such a state after the Conservatives have slowed its funding, is there a reason Labour or the Lib Dems don’t attack the government harder on the NHS? Is it because there is a fear of sounding critical of the NHS itself.

If you have a question for You Ask Us, go to newstatesman.com/youaskus

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[See also: Why Love Actually has ruined politics, with Jonn Elledge]

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