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BMA ballot rules out hospital doctor walkout

29 November 2012

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Scotland’s British Medical Association (BMA) has ruled out strike action in hospitals after receiving “insufficient support” from a recent ballot of its members.

The decision was made at the meeting of the BMA’s UK Council in London yesterday (28 November).

The BMA had previously announced intended days of strike action when the opening its ballot – 12 December 2012 and the 8 and 17 January 2013. 

Although 72.92% of junior doctors and 52.4% of staff and associate specialists who voted in the ballots said they were “willing” to take strike action, the overall level of support in the ballot was deemed “insufficient to mount “effective action”.

Ballots of consultant and public health doctors also did not provide a legal mandate for the strike action proposed.

However, the organisation said it was “clear” doctors “remain angry” over the proposed changes to the NHS pension scheme in Scotland.

“It is clear from the ballot result that although we don’t have a clear overall mandate for strike action, doctors are angry about the way the Scottish Government has handled plans to change NHS pensions,’ said Dr Brian Keighley, chairman of the BMA in Scotland.

“Although we are not taking industrial action, we will continue to lobby and campaign against the unfairness of these pension changes and we will work with the other NHS unions to press for meaningful negotiations in Scotland.”