Doctors have refused to rule out industrial action following concerns over a proposed shake-up of the NHS pensions system.
The British Medical Association (BMA) voiced its unhappiness about changes to the health service’s retirement scheme – on the day hundreds of thousands of other public sector workers went on strike over planned reforms to their schemes by the government.
BMA members voted in favour of “considering” industrial action, with officials saying the revised NHS pension scheme would see staff paying more and working longer but receiving less.
The Department of Health insisted it would set out changes that were affordable, as well as being fair to NHS staff and the taxpayer.
But Andrew Dearden, Chairman of the BMA’s pensions committee, said many were concerned because the government had refused to enter into talks with the union.
He warned that it could lead to a mass exodus of doctors from the government’s NHS pension system – taking billions out of the Treasury’s purse – or opening up the possibility of industrial action.
A motion for the BMA to consider balloting members on industrial action was approved by 87% of members on the final day of its annual conference in Cardiff.
Copyright © Press Association 2011
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“Yes – everybody has has a rights. Why should a Doctor not be able to strike like everybody else if needs must?” – Pat Norris, Newcastle-under-Lyme