General practitioners in England are going on the longest strike in the 75-year history of the National Health Service (NHS). Thousands of appointments in hospitals are expected to be canceled due to the strike, which started today and will end at 07:00 on January 9.

About 100 doctors who went on strike protested in front of St. Thomas Hospital, one of the largest hospitals in the capital London, demanding an improvement in their salaries.

Stating that the strike has a significant impact on the routine health system, NHS Medical Director Prof. Stephen Powis said, "This January could be one of the most difficult Christmases the NHS has ever faced."

The British Medical Association (BMA), which represents general practitioners, called on the government to make an adequate wage offer to end the strikes. The BMA, which demanded a 35 percent increase in salaries on the grounds that wages were below inflation, ended talks with the government after being offered a wage increase of 8 percent to 10 percent, and organized strikes on December 20-23.