Junior doctors in the UK have started a three-day strike, demanding a hike in their salaries. The strike is expected to severely hit many services, forcing hospitals to cancel tens of thousands of outpatient appointments and operations this week.

The strike has severely disrupted hospital operations in the country, according to The Guardian. Thousands of outpatient appointments have already been cancelled and surgical procedures postponed after the junior doctors stopped work, the outlet further said.

The government committed to discussing a one-time payment for the year 2022-23 and an unspecified hike next year, but has not agreed to the 26 per cent increase, said the doctors' unions.

Junior doctors won't be available in areas offering life-or-death care, including A&E, critical care and maternity services.

The British Medical Association says the 26 per cent hike is being demanded as “full pay restoration” for the real-term loss in income suffered by them since 2008/09. The junior doctors are demanding a 35 per cent wage hike to combat this loss.

Hospitals are set to face massive problems during the strike as senior doctors aren't able to provide maximum medical supervision despite working long hours as junior doctors normally carry out much of day-to-day patient management.

A hospital executive told Guardian, “What worries me most is that there’ll be fewer medical rounds on the wards than usual and that one or two consultants will have a lot of beds to look after, and may also have to keep an eye on people in A&E

The executive further said that the hospital had to cancel more than 1,000 outpatient appointments and several surgical procedures due to the strikes. However, he supports the striking junior doctors.