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GP contract an opportunity to rebuild strained ties, BMA tells Scottish government

The Scottish government’s ‘encouraging’ response to re-negotiating the GP contract shows it is possible to rebuild strained ties with the medical profession, says the head of the BMA in Scotland.

In his New Year message, Dr Brian Keighley said Scottish ministers must recognise that the dispute over pensions has severely damaged trust and goodwill amongst the medical profession.

He said: ‘Continued attacks on doctors’ terms and conditions have had a serious impact on workforce morale as doctors face a further year of pay
freezes, increases to their pension contributions at the same time as meeting rising demand for services with a shrinking workforce.’

However, Dr Keighley said the Scottish government’s willingness to listen to GPs and avoid the contract imposition being threatened elsewhere in the UK was an encouraging sign, and he called on the Government to re-engage with the medical profession.

‘It is clear that we are most effective when we work together and I hope that as we enter 2013, the cabinet secretary Alex Neil, recognises the burden of the NHS pressures that are falling on the shoulders of the workforce and looks to develop policies that support the workforce,’ he said.