BMA members criticise their chairman's Health Bill stance

BMA members have rallied against BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum, criticising him for not promoting doctors' calls for the Health Bill to be withdrawn.

Dr Meldrum received criticism for not voicing doctors concerns on the Health Bill

BMA London council members almost unanimously passed a motion that proposed a ‘vote of censure’ in Dr Meldrum at a meeting last week.

Dr Ron Singer, president of the Medical Practioners’ Union, said the vote means Dr Meldrum can continue as chair of council. But he said it is a warning that members do not think his handling of the call to withdraw the Bill was correct.

He said: ‘The vote was a shot across the bows of BMA leadership, that their general stance towards the Bill needs to be sharpened quite a lot as constructive engagement has effectively failed to provide any significant changes in the Bill.

‘This was a bit of a steer to toughen the rhetoric of the Bill, particularly to achieve its withdrawal’.

But the BMA defended its actions, outlining that the BMA has undertaken an 'extensive programme' of lobbying activity leading up to the Commons report stage and third reading of the Bill. 

A spokesman said: 'The BMA will continue to communicate its concerns about the Bill to politicians, other organisations and the public until it is withdrawn or at the very least significantly amended, in line with the policies of the ARM and Council.

'We continue to engage with all our members on this important issue, including seeking their views on the Bill.'

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