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British Medical Association strike will halt elective and routine NHS treatment

Published on 31/05/2012

The first strike by doctors in the NHS for nearly 40 years will take place on the 21st June, with all non-urgent care postponed for 24 hours.

In a British Medical Association ballot of over 104,000 members, some 79% of GPs, 84% of hospital consultants and 92% of junior doctors voted in favour of action.

The strike is in response to the pension changes put forward by the government. Under the plans, the age at which doctors retire in England and Wales would rise from 65 to 68, and their pension contributions will increase.

However, a new doctor joining the revised scheme could still expect a pension of £68,000 a year on retirement. Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: "The public will not understand or sympathise with the BMA.

"People know that pension reform is needed as people live longer and to be fair in future for everyone."

On June 21, doctors will be in their usual workplaces but providing urgent and emergency care only. Elective operations such as knee replacements will be postponed, routine GP appointments will not take place and hospital appointments for routine conditions will be cancelled.

Tests for critical conditions like cancer, A&E units and maternity services will run as normal, so patient safety will not be compromised under the 24 hour strike.

This is the first strike by doctors since 1975. It is not yet known whether the day of action will be followed by further ones. Unions representing a host of health professionals have already taken part in strikes over pension changes.

The Royal College of Nursing has yet to decide whether it will follow in the footsteps of the BMA.

If you want to be covered for private routine and elective treatment on your private medical insurance, choose a health insurance policy with full inpatient and outpatient cover.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012

Categories:  NHS and Hospitals
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