Doubts over how doctors’ action will hit patients
Last updated at 19:41, Thursday, 31 May 2012
Patients across West Cumbria are waiting to find out how industrial action by doctors on June 21 will affect them.
The British Medical Association has announced that its members have voted to take a day of action over proposed changes to the NHS pension scheme.
It will be the first such action by doctors for nearly 40 years.
The BMA said doctors will be in their hospitals and surgeries on June 21 to treat urgent and emergency patients.
But non-urgent cases will be postponed.
A spokesman for primary care trust NHS Cumbria said: “We’ll still get test results for conditions like cancer, and A&E units and maternity units will run as normal and GP practices will remain open.
“Routine appointments will not take place.”
He said the BMA was working with organisations, including NHS Cumbria, to finalise what would be considered as urgent and non-urgent cases. They would get information out to patients as soon as possible.
A total of 52,250 doctors took part in the vote of action out of 104,544 who were eligible.
The results showed 44,023 were prepared to take part in industrial action short of a strike and 37,455 were prepared to strike.
The action affects GPs, consultants, junior doctors, specialists and public health and community health doctors. Cumbria has about 350 GPs working in 83 practices.
In 2008 the BMA and other health unions negotiated with the government over a major reform of the NHS pension scheme, but the BMA claims that latest changes would see doctors paying up to 14.5 per cent of their salaries in pension contributions and would have to work longer to receive their pensions.
Dr Hamish Meldrum, chairman of council at the BMA, said: “This is not a step that doctors take lightly. This is the first industrial action doctors have taken since 1975.”
No one was available to comment from the North Cumbria Hospitals University NHS Trust, which runs Whitehaven’s West Cumberland Hospital and the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.
First published at 19:23, Thursday, 31 May 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
Have your say
The action does tell us something.. the doctors are as selfish and greedy as everyone else. To demand a gold plated pension of the proportions they already benefit from is totally unjustified. Paying it means looting it from somewhere else. The looting has to stop and everyone has to realise you must pay for everything - nothing is, or should be, free.
Less than half of the Doctors decided to vote which is not IMO a concensus to strike.
If one person dies due to their actions then their union should be charged with causing a persons death.
Evil, this government is only doing what is needed to put this country back on the road to prosperity and un-doing the disasters that the last 13 years of labour government mis-management did.
The Labour party should never ever be allowed back into governing this country IMO.
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