Junior doctors in Scotland have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a three-day strike amid a pay dispute with the Scottish Government.

In a ballot of BMA Scotland members, 97% voted for 72-hour walkout.

It follows a strikes by junior doctors in England, who took action for three days in March and four days in April.

Health Secretary Michael Matheson said he was "disappointed", but that further talks on pay were taking place.

More than 71% of the eligible 5,000 junior doctors voted.

The BBC says a strike would impact planned operations, clinics and GP appointments. Junior doctors - fully-qualified medics who are not specialty staff doctors, consultants or GPs - make up 44% of the doctors in the NHS in Scotland.

Real-terms pay cuts

The union said previous pay awards for junior doctors in Scotland had delivered real-terms pay cuts of 23.5% since 2008.

It added that, with rises in inflation, this year's 4.5% uplift was "again being outstripped and the position on pay erosion will be worse by the end of the year".

The BMA has asked for a 23.5% increase on top of inflation, arguing that it is needed to make up for 15 years of pay erosion.

The union said it would begin preparations for a 72-hour walkout if the Scottish Government did not put forward a credible offer. Dates for the strike have not been confirmed.

Some junior doctors in Scotland are said to be earning a basic salary that equated to about £14 an hour.

First Minister Humza Yousaf will be under pressure to avert the strike, having often pointed out during the SNP leadership campaign his record as health secretary on avoiding NHS strikes in Scotland.

'Working for free'

Dr Tiffany Li, from BMA's Scottish junior doctors committee, told the BBC that he drop in pay in real terms over the past 15 years was the "equivalent of working three months of the year for free".

"What we're simply asking the Scottish Government to do is help us to reverse that pay cut and actually bring it back to cost-neutral level," she said.

Scottish Conservative health spokesman Dr Sandesh Gulhane said it was clear that junior doctors were "at the end of their tether".

"Patients will naturally be alarmed at the impact strike action will have on already-unacceptable waiting times," he said.

Jackie Baillie, Scottish Labour health spokesperson, said: "This result has not come out of the blue - it is the product of years of SNP failure to support junior doctors and reward them for their work."

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