Doctors will start voting tomorrow on whether to take industrial action for the first time since 1975 in a dramatic escalation of the dispute over Con-Dem pension reforms.
Ballot papers will be sent to 103,000 British Medical Association members.
The result is due at the end of the month.
If they back action doctors would refuse duties that could safely be postponed.
However the union has ruled out a complete withdrawal of labour.
The BMA argues that higher-paid NHS staff already pay proportionately more for their pension than most other public-sector workers and says that the planned changes will widen the gap.
By 2014 some doctors will see deductions of 14.5 per cent from their pay for their pensions, compared to 7.35 per cent for senior civil servants on similar salaries, it says.
Members are also angry at plans to raise the pension age from 65 currently to 68.
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