JUNIOR doctors are out on strike again in Southampton as they continue to fight the government's plan to impose new working conditions on them.

The doctors are on the picket line in the rain outside Southampton General Hospital, as part as industrial action across the nation.

Hundreds of medics have united for a 48-hour walkout from 8am until 8am on Friday where emergency care only will be provided.

The move is the third bout of industrial action launched this year by the British Medical Association (BMA) in protest of controversial contracts overhauling their working hours and pay.

Sohaib Rufai, said: "This is the first strike since the imposition and we have decided to do this because of the amount of support we have from the public.

"The mood is one of disappointment and anger and frustration, and we are all fighting for a change.

"The safety of patients today is of the utmost important and today the hospital is running as it would on a bank holiday with an emergency care service running so anyone who needs to come in today do not fear. We feel our concerns aren't being listened to." 

Health chiefs at both Southampton General Hospital and Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester have refused to disclose how many non-urgent operations and outpatients clinics they will be rearranging today.

But during the previous strikes on February 10 the Southampton hospital cancelled 10 operations and 180 outpatient appointments.

Back then Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust cancelled 15 operations across its three hospitals in Winchester, Andover and Basingstoke and 10 per cent of its clinics.

Junior doctors have been on the picket lines outside the Tremona Road hospital since 8.30am and from 8am outside Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester.

Medics will unite for a regional rally at the Guildhall Square from 11.30am with speeches and music and collections for the Anthony Nolan charity.

Another round of 48hour strikes are due to take place from 8am on Wednesday, April 6 until 8am on Friday, April 8, and a third from 8am on Tuesday, April 26 until 8am on Thursday, April 28.