Doctors Strike - Hackney Town Hall - Credit Hugh Grant-Peterkin (Twitter)

Doctors protest outside Hackney Town Hall. Photograph: Hugh Grant-Peterkin

Junior doctors at Homerton Hospital joined picket lines to protest against the imposition of a new contract as the ongoing dispute led to a fourth strike.

Doctors walked out as part of a national strike that saw more than 5,000 operations and procedures cancelled. The 48-hour strike started at 8am Wednesday.

Doctors and campaigners gathered outside Hackney Town Hall for a demonstration, holding banners reading: “The NHS should be yours. Let’s keep it yours.”

The NHS Choir joined the Hackney protest, performing protest songs that included: “Don’’t forget you have a choice; So shout it out and raise your voice.”

Hugh Grant-Peterkin, a psychiatrist at East London NHS Foundation Trust, tweeted: “Proud of powerful speakers, strong turnout & brilliant choir at Hackney Town Hall!”

Dr Johann Malawana, BMA junior doctor committee chair, said: “No junior doctor wants to take this action but we have been left with no choice.

“The government is trying to impose a contract that is unfair and could undermine the long term delivery of patient care.

“The fact that junior doctors have again turned out in their thousands demonstrates the ongoing anger and rejection of this contract imposition.

“Any future action is wholly avoidable, but the government must get back around the negotiating table and end this dispute through talks.”

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