The BMA has announced additional dates for proposed strikes by junior doctors in October, November and December.
Juniors are due to walk out from 12 to 16 September – but will now also take action on 5, 6, 7, 10 and 11 October, 14 to 18 November and 5 to 9 December.
However, splits appear to be developing in the ‘one profession’ mantra the BMA has been pushing.
The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges said it was “disappointed at the prospect of further sustained industrial action by junior doctors”.
It added: “We are acutely aware that the NHS is under extreme pressure at the moment. Patient safety and quality of care must be the priority.
“We know there are genuine concerns about the contract and working arrangements, but we do not consider the proposed strikes are proportionate.”
The BMA Council narrowly supported the action by junior doctors with a vote split 16 to 14. It has been suggested that consultant members and GPs were against the idea.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt today said up to 100,000 operations and one million appointments could be postponed by the first week of action.
Prime minister Theresa May today backed Mr Hunt, describing him as an “excellent health secretary” and accusing the BMA of “playing politics”.