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Majority of public oppose industrial action, survey finds

The majority of the public oppose doctors’ plans to take industrial action over the Government’s pension reforms, though almost a third support them, a YouGov poll has found.

When asked whether they support doctors taking industrial action, 62% of those surveyed said they opposed the move, while 28% supported the decision. 

The poll of 1,546 people also reveals that the public is split over whether doctors who provide essential public services should be allowed to take industrial action at all; 48% said doctors should not have the right to strike, while 44% said they should be allowed.

While 40% felt the pensions doctors currently receive are about right, 33% said they were too high, and just 4% said they were too low.

The Government seized on the results of the poll, which also found that only 4% of those surveyed feel doctors are badly paid, compared with 92% who think they are generally well paid, as evidence that the public is not sympathetic to the BMA’s call for action.

Health minister Simon Burns said: ‘The public are right to condemn these strikes.’

‘We have consistently said that the BMA should prioritise patient care over their pay packets and this poll shows that the public agrees. 62 per cent of people oppose the BMA’s plans for a strike and just 4 per cent think that the pensions doctors receive are too low.

‘It is increasingly clear that the public simply cannot understand how the BMA can risk patient safety with unjustified strikes and cannot sympathise with doctors who will continue to receive an extremely generous pension worth £68,000 a year.’


Click here to read the full results fom the YouGov poll.