Junior doctors in Britain have suspended plans for a five-day strike that had been set to begin next week.

The British Medical Association — the doctors' union — said Monday the strike will not go ahead, but warned of planned strikes in October, November and December.

Junior doctors, who have up to 10 years of experience, have been in a protracted dispute with the government over weekend shifts and pay.

Dr. Ellen McCourt, chairman of the junior doctors' committee, said the strike was called off out of concern for patient safety.

Plans for the strike had drawn heavy criticism from government officials. The General Medical Council had warned that patients would suffer as a result.