Industrial action threat lifted by BMA19th July 2012
Doctors’ leaders are set to re-enter talks with the government over their pension dispute after lifting the threat of industrial action.
The British Medical Association, which staged a day of industrial action on June 21, will now join other health unions in debating some of the changes made to the NHS pension scheme, which under government plans will mean higher earners such as doctors having to work for longer and contribute more.
BMA chairman Dr Mark Porter said: “We always said that we would review our action in order to determine next steps. Having done that, it is clear that only escalated action has any possibility of causing the government to rethink its whole programme of changes.
“The BMA and the profession as a whole are unwilling to do that at this point because of the impact on patients.”
The action on June 21, a boycott of non-urgent care, saw operations cancelled and disruption to appointments at hospitals and GP surgeries.
The BMA fears doctors are being treated unfairly as their contributions will rise more than other public sector workers, but the government has said it would not negotiate with the BMA until the threat of action was lifted.
It will now focus talks on the proposal to increase the retirement age to 68 and the sort of work doctors will be expected to do at the end of their careers.
NHS Employers, which represents health managers, said the NHS will “breathe a sigh of relief that there will be no more industrial action for the moment.”
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