Dr Richard Van Mellaerts, a GP in Kingston-upon-Thames,said: ‘Withdrawal of labour is a worker’s right. There will be a lot of handwringing in practices and it will be practically difficult to do, but enough anger and upset is there that people would inconvenience themselves.
‘Despite what Andrew Lansley says, I think patients will understand that this is an unjust change being made. Who does the public trust more – doctors or politicans?’
Dr Richard Vautrey, GPC negotiator and a GP in Leeds,said: ‘I think the Government will be surprised that after the survey we did a few months ago, support has strengthened. That sends a clear message.
‘It is always difficult to get the public onside when you are talking pensions. What we would hope to get across is that we are not asking to be treated as special, we are simply asking to be treated fairly.’
Dr Dean Marshall, chair of the Scottish GPC, said: ‘We have never done something like this before so we weren’t sure what the mandate would be. But from the survey we did, we saw how strongly doctors felt about it. I think it is a very strong turnout and clear mandate for Council.
‘The Government will do its best to muddy the waters, as it has done already. The bottom line is the scheme is well in surplus.’
Dr Fay Wilson, a GP in Birmingham and member of BMA Council, said: ‘There was no dissent in Council that this was a mandate for action.
‘Given that things were done over a short time frame and there is an element of having to understand the question, with ‘strike’ used legally rather than colloquially, the mandatewas amazing, both in terms of turnout and voting. I’m particularly pleased that all the major branches of practices are lined up together.’