UK & World News
Doctors' Strike: 'Limited Impact On Patients'
Fewer than one in 10 patients had their operations or consultations rescheduled because of the doctors' strike, NHS figures show.
According to the Department of Health 2,700 operations and 18,750 outpatient appointments were cancelled - far fewer than had been forecast.
Three quarters of GP surgeries were open as usual.
Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, said it had been wrong to inconvenience patients.
But the British Medical Association (BMA) said the day of action had achieved its aim of sending a message to the Government.
Doctors are protesting over changes to their pensions that would mean they would have to contribute more, work longer and receive less in retirement.
The BMA announced the action last month after it accused ministers of pressing ahead with "totally unjustified" increases to pension contributions and a later retirement age for doctors, even though a deal on pensions was agreed four years ago.
Dr Laurence Buckman, head of the BMA's GP committee, said: "We realised that the public would not think it was a great idea for a rich set of NHS workers to complain about something.
"But how else can we demonstrate how upset we are? None of us want to take this action. We were pushed in to this. It is on very edge of what is professionally acceptable."
Under the changes doctors would still retire on an average of £48,000 plus a lump sum of £143,000.
Norfolk GP Dr Malcolm Willis, who worked as normal, accused striking doctors of greed.
:: Doctors argue for and against strike
He told Sky News: "I find it shocking - as do most of the patients I talk to - that any doctor would ever think of taking industrial action that might harm them or inconvenience them.
"They trust us and this is breaking the trust."
The British Medical Association has not ruled out further action.
But Mr Lansley has refused to renegotiate, saying: "What they can't do is go out on their own and think that by issuing threats or taking strike action they will prejudice the deal for other members of NHS staff in order to secure a better deal for doctors alone."
Hospitals will now have to fit the backlog of patients from the strike into clinics that are already busy.
Mr Lansley has said up to 1.25 million GP appointments will be pushed into the days and weeks following the action.