A strike-action ballot of junior doctors in Scotland will close at noon today amid a pay dispute with the Scottish Government.

BMA Scotland members were asked to vote on a 72-hour walkout, after junior doctors in England took action for three days in March and four days in April.

The result of the ballot is expected this afternoon.

The union said 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 "is again being outstripped and the position on pay erosion will be worse by the end of the year".

The Scottish Government previously said the pay demands were "simply unaffordable" unless cuts were made to the NHS and other public services.

First national strike

If members vote in favour, then it would be the first national strike over pay by junior doctors in Scotland.

Industrial action could impact planned operations as well GP appointments, as junior doctors make up 44% of the doctors in the NHS in Scotland.

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".

BMA's Scottish junior doctors committee chairman Dr Chris Smith said some junior doctors in Scotland were earning a basic salary that equated to about £14 an hour.

He previously told the BBC that this year's pay rise of 4.5% was "frankly unacceptable under the current circumstances".

Dr Smith said poor pay was "impacting on the workforce, retention of doctors and therefore the care the NHS can provide".

Exit plans

He warned that some junior doctors were actively looking at exit plans and posts overseas for better pay and conditions.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: "We have entered into discussions with junior doctors to secure a pay award for 2023/24.

"As these negotiations are held in confidence, it would be inappropriate to offer any further details at this time."

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