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17-01-2012 | Article

BMA rejects pension deal

Abstract

BMA Pensions survey results

The BMA is once again urging the government to reconsider its NHS Pension Scheme proposals, following an overwhelming call from members to reject the deal.

The doctors' union is giving the government another month to improve its offer before considering balloting members over industrial action, Pulse magazine reported.

The decision comes after BMA Council met today to consider the results of a UK-wide survey of 130,000 doctors and medical students.

The survey received 46,000 responses, a response rate of 36%, with 84% of respondents calling for the proposals to be rejected.

Almost two-thirds (63%) said they would be willing to take industrial action to force changes to the deal, with 20% prepared to take any kind of action including strikes (complete withdrawal of labour) and 43% to take action short of strike action (eg, emergency service cover only).

Of GP respondents, 55% said they were willing to take industrial action, compared with 66% of consultants and 72% of junior doctors.

Chair of BMA Council Dr Hamish Meldrum, said: "The strength and scale of feeling among doctors is abundantly clear - they feel let down and betrayed, and for many this is the final straw."

Dr Meldrum added that forcing doctors to work to nearly 70 years of age could put pressure on them to work beyond the age at which they feel competent and safe to do the job.

"Industrial action remains a last resort and the Government must urgently reconsider its damaging plans. The action we are considering is unprecedented in recent decades. This demonstrates the current level of discontent among NHS staff," he said.

GP News is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

By Caroline Price