HUMZA Yousaf has hit out at the “disrespectful” UK Health Secretary for comments she made about junior doctors.

It comes amid ongoing strikes in England with patients being warned to expect major disruption.

Talks between the British Medical Association (BMA) and the UK Government broke down earlier this month.

During her appearance on BBC Breakfast on Thursday, Health Secretary Victoria Atkins said: “Within 24 hours of being appointed by the Prime Minister, I called the BMA in, all of the committees, the chairs of the committees, to say to them I would like us to work together.

“We have managed through hard work and through compromise to find an offer that I hope will be accepted by consultants and we’ve also managed to find a fair and reasonable settlement for speciality doctors.

“The last cohort is that of junior doctors or doctors in training as I prefer to call them and they, sadly to my great disappointment, walked out of our negotiations and then called these strikes.”

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Atkins replaced Steve Barclay as the new Health Secretary earlier this year amid a reshuffle by Rishi Sunak.

In response to her comments, the First Minister said on Twitter/X: “Disrespectful from the UK Health Secretary.

“In Scotland, we have avoided NHS strikes by agreeing a fair pay deal with junior doctors. I reiterate our offer to the UK Government that we’re willing to mediate in their dispute, so no more days of NHS activity are lost to strike.”

Scottish Health Secretary Michael Matheson (below) previously offered to “mediate” in the dispute after a pay deal was agreed in Scotland.

The National: The Health Secretary said last week his sons racked up the bill watching football (Jane Barlow/PA)

Junior doctors previously accepted a 12.4% pay boost north of the Border which BMA Scotland said set the country apart “from what is happening elsewhere in the UK”.

Strike action is due to take place on December 22 and 23 which will be followed by a six-day full walkout from January 3 to 9.