The British Medical Association (BMA) now offers private medical insurance to its employees and has been accused of undermining its own principles.
The BMA have long campaigned against the private health sector
The BMA, Britain’s largest doctor’s trade union, has repeatedly championed for a publicly-funded NHS and its decision to offer private health insurance has come under criticism from some sectors.
Dr Kambiz Boomla, a GP in East London, said: “It’s quite wrong. The BMA should be fighting to defend the NHS and fighting privatisation. Offering private medical insurance is counter-productive to the BMA’s stance on the NHS.
“What kind of message does it send out to anybody observing what’s happening to the NHS at the moment?”
The BMA already offer a small portion of their senior staff health insurance as part of their salary package but will now give all members of staff the opportunity to buy private cover in exchange for part of their salary.
A report from the trade journal Pulse exposed the revelation that appears to conflict with the BMA’s outlook on private health care in the UK.
A BMA spokesman told Pulse that the scheme was at the discretion of each individual employee and would not result in cost to the BMA.
The spokesman also confirmed that neither the BMA chair Dr Mark Porter, the BMA Council nor the General Practitioners’ Committee are provided with private health insurance.
A move by the BMA to offer private medical insurance is another blow against the NHS which has suffered poor coverage in the last couple of years due to numerous scandals.
Treasurer Dr Andrew Dearden, a GP in Cardiff, wanted to enhance the benefits available to its staff and did not wholly condemn the private health sector.
Dr Dearden said: “The BMA does not however oppose all private medicine which has been a small part of the UK health sector for decades.
“What we do oppose is the potential damage that could be done by opening up NHS services, which all members of our society rely on, to greater competitive tendering as this raises a multitude of pitfalls that could fragment patient care and undermine the care delivered to patients.”
Health insurance is an insurance policy that can let you get prompt treatment at a private hospital of your choice avoiding NHS waiting lists.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2013