People take part in a rally in Trafalgar Square in support of striking NHS junior doctors, as the British Medical Association holds a 96-hour walkout in a dispute over pay.

Video. Watch: Doctors in England continue historic four-day strike over pay

Doctors working in England's public health service on Tuesday launched what has been billed as the most disruptive strike in its history, in a dispute over pay and working conditions.

Doctors working in England's public health service on Tuesday launched what has been billed as the most disruptive strike in its history, in a dispute over pay and working conditions.

The four-day walkout, which began at 7:00 am local time, follows months of strikes by other public and private sector staff as inflation sparks the UK's worst cost-of-living crisis in a generation.

The action by so-called junior doctors -- physicians who are not senior specialists but who may still have years of experience - comes after a three-day stoppage last month and several strikes by nurses.

It threatens to be the most serious walkout yet and lead to the cancellation of hundreds of thousands of appointments.

They are demanding a pay rise of 35%, which they say is needed to help make up for more than a decade of salary cuts in real terms.

They also argue pandemic backlogs coupled with staff shortages are massively increasing workloads, endangering patients.

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