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GPs to take industrial action next month

The BMA has announced doctors will take industrial action for the first time since 1975 next month, in protest at the Government’s pension reforms.
BMA Council declared it had received a strong mandate from its ballot of members, after the results were announced this morning.
More than 84% of doctors voted in favour of taking industrial action short of a strike, with a turnout of 50%. Turnout among GPs was slightly higher, at 53%, with 79% backing action.
GPs will be expected to attend surgery on 21 June, but will only provide urgent and emergency care and will postpone all routine procedures. 

Dr Hamish Meldrum, chair of council, said the BMA was taking the action ‘reluctantly’. 

‘This clear mandate for action – on a very high turnout –  reflects just how let down doctors feel by the Government’s unwillingness to find a fairer approach to the latest pension changes and its refusal to acknowledge the major reforms of 2008 that made the NHS scheme sustainable in the long term,’ Dr Meldrum said. 

“We will also run our own publicity campaign to make sure that members of the public understand what the action will involve and how they can find out what it might mean for them and their families.’
Dr Laurence Buckman, GPC chair, told Pulse at a press briefing that he believed most GPs would take part in the industrial action, despite concerns over increased workloads. 
‘We cannot guarantee they will be taking action, but they voted for it and I assume that they voted for it because they were going to do it,’ he said

‘It will be a different kind of workload on that day. If lots of people come in to the surgery and say they are sick, it will be a busy day. The only thing they won’t be doing is routine things that don’t need to be seen today.’
‘Anyone who appears to be ill will be seen. If that increases workload for that day, well, it may do. GPs have shown by the turnout and the vote how angry they are at this monumental unfairness. yet we will still make patient safety our number one priority.’