Published: 31st May 2012
Today's announcement by the BMA of strong backing for industrial action by its members comes as no surprise. The vote was largely expected to go in the BMA's favour, and with a 50% turnout, the 70-80% vote in favour of industrial action expresses clearly the anger that doctors feel over the new pension arrangements being instigated by the Government. This heralds a day of action on 21 June, the first such action taken by British doctors since 1975. The industrial action will be limited to cancelling routine clinics and operations, and only dealing with emergency and urgent cases, and the BMA is keen to stress that no patients will be put at risk.
The Government should take heed of this expression of dissatisfaction from doctors, and remember that those who care for the sickest and most vulnerable in our society should themselves expect care and support from that same society. Doctors now pay more for their pensions than any other public servants, and there are fears that many will move out of the profession or the public sector as a consequence, not just of the pension changes, but the cutbacks in services and the NHS reorganisation currently underway. The pension deal may be the straw that breaks the camel's back.
Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) counts over 4,000 qualified doctors amongst its members. Our concern is to support and encourage them in their work. With additional concerns over draft guidelines from the General Medical Council limiting freedom of conscience or room to discuss patients' spiritual needs as part of consultations, they are feeling the pressure in many other ways as well.
Peter Saunders, CEO of Christian Medical Fellowship said 'CMF is not officially supporting or opposing this strike and understands that Christian doctors will take a range of views on how best to respond personally. We urge Christian doctors to consider carefully in good conscience whether the call to industrial action is just, proportionate andreasonable before taking the decision to strike. We have posted some reflections on the principals involved on the CMF Blog (see http:
Philippa Taylor (CMF Head of Public Policy) 020 7234 9664
Steven Fouch (CMF Head of Communications) 020 7234 9668
Alistair Thompson on 07970 162 225
Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) was founded in 1949 and is an interdenominational organisation with over 5,000 doctors, 900medical and nursing students and 300 nurses and midwives as members in all branches of medicine, nursing and midwifery. A registered charity, it is linked to over 100 similar bodies in other countries throughout the world.
CMF exists to unite Christian healthcare professionals to pursue the highest ethical standards in Christian and professional life and to increase faith in Christ and acceptance of his ethical teaching.