Health Care

UK doctors suspend planned 2-day strike amid talks

Keir Pickard, second left, a junior doctor at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, hands out stickers on the picket line in London,Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016. Thousands of junior doctors have walked off the job in England in a dispute over pay and working conditions - the first such strike in 40 years. Some 50,000 junior doctors - who represent a third of the medical workforce - are on strike for 24 hours amid government plans to change pay and work schedules. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Keir Pickard, second left, a junior doctor at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, hands out stickers on the picket line in London,Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016. Thousands of junior doctors have walked off the job in England in a dispute over pay and working conditions - the first such strike in 40 years. Some 50,000 junior doctors - who represent a third of the medical workforce - are on strike for 24 hours amid government plans to change pay and work schedules. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Junior doctors in England have called off a two-day strike as union leaders continue talks with the government over a bitterly-disputed contract.

The strike, which was due to begin on Jan. 26, would have affected thousands of operations and procedures because doctors planned to provide emergency care only.

The dispute between the government and junior doctors — those who are training and have up to 10 years of experience — has escalated in recent months. Last week, about 50,000 doctors walked off the job in protest of government plans to change pay and work schedules.

Doctors say the changes would weaken restrictions on their working hours and so affect patient safety.

The British Medical Association said Tuesday "significant progress" is still needed to avoid a strike planned for Feb. 10.

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