Andrew Lansley tells striking doctors to protect patients
Doctors are to be challenged by Andrew Lansley to make sure patient safety is not put at risk by their plan to strike over changes to their pensions.
The Health Secretary will write to the British Medical Association this week, calling on doctors to be "true to their word and protect patients".
A ballot of more than 100,000 doctors showed a clear majority in favour of protests, on a turnout of 50 per cent. The industrial action on 21 June will be the first walkout by doctors since 1975. The dispute centres on plans to raise their retirement age from 65 to 68 and to increase pension contributions.
A BMA spokesman said: "We realise the action will disrupt the NHS, but the absolute top priority is patient safety. It won't be massively dissimilar to a bank holiday service. This is the only option left to try to get a fair deal."
However, the Department of Health suggests 25,000 elective procedures will be affected, while more than one million GP appointments will be cancelled. "We don't quite understand why the BMA is taking action and putting pensions before patients – what do they expect their strike to achieve?" said a source, pointing to comments made by TV doctor Mark Porter, a leading BMA figure, who suggested in an online forum: "The point of the action is to cause pressure by disrupting services."
The DoH also disputes claims that it has not entered properly into negotiations with doctors, saying officials met the BMA on 23 occasions between last August and March.
As Voltaire once said, “Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal”
Life & Style blogs
Movie pirate given almost 3 years in prison for filming Fast & Furious 6 in back of cinema
What is ALS and the Ice Bucket Challenge?
Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant
Doctors tell Treasury of their anger at rejection of pay reviews
Tickets for Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in London are not on ‘sale’
- 1 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant
- 3 Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
- 4 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Market Administrator (1st line Support, Trade Fl...
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Dire...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Data Support Analyst (Linux, Solaris, Windows Se...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Helpdesk Support Engineer (Windows, MS Office, E...