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Letter of the week: Senior GPs must protect NHS pension for all

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), in 2008 the US spent $7,538 per person on healthcare. The UK spent $3,129. The UK achieves universal health coverage. The US does not.

The health bill is a landmark in efforts to morph one of the most economical and successful health services in the world (the NHS) into one of the most expensive and inequitable (the US system).

All round the world there is an agenda to privatise public services. It is driven by powerful corporations who seek profits at the expense of quality, working conditions, pay and pensions.

Intimately connected with the health bill is the need to dismantle the NHS pension. As NHS services are farmed out to private companies, so the number of NHS staff paying into the pension fund plummets.

To make up the shortfall, those still employed by the NHS will have to pay more for longer.

I am particularly concerned that the majority of senior doctors who represent the interests of the profession are probably near retirement age. Essentially, whatever happens, they can retire from 55 onwards with a healthy pension funded by those still working. Do they really have a vested interest in protecting the pension for the entire profession, and indeed all NHS employees?

Ultimately, if NHS employees stand together we can oppose the dismantling of the NHS and our pensions. But we need our leaders to truly represent us.

From Dr Simon Moore, Crouch End, north London


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