BMA rules out ballot on GP industrial action 'at this point'

BMA leaders have ruled out industrial action 'at this point' but warned practices are under real strain and need 'long-term, sustained investment'.

BMA: resisting call for industrial action
BMA: resisting call for industrial action

Union leaders could pressure the BMA to ballot GPs over industrial action this summer, warning that the profession is facing 'the biggest attack on any section of the NHS we have ever seen'.

Dr Ron Singer, president of the Unite-affiliated Medical Practitioners’ Union, told GP that industrial action may now be ‘the only thing that will save general practice’.

Active talks are underway within the union over when to urge the BMA to ballot the profession.

Campaign for support

But the BMA looks set to resist calls for industrial action, and will press ahead with campaigning for greater support for general practice.

A BMA spokesman said: ‘At a time when GPs and other doctors are working harder than ever before to meet rising patient demand with fewer resources, it is not surprising that the morale of GPs is plummeting.

‘GP practices in particular are under real strain and are not being given the backing they deserve from the government. Only last week, a major BMA survey showed that four out of 10 GPs felt that their practice was too cramped and inadequate to provide even basic GP services.

‘However, we do not feel that balloting for industrial action is needed at this point. Instead we will continue to fight hard to make ministers understand that they need to undertake long-term, sustained investment in general practice that allows GPs to do the job they were trained to do: treat patients.’ 

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