The BMA will not support us over extended hours

At our local LMC meeting on extended hours this week, the LMC pointed out that it could not express opinions that might be an incitement to industrial action. No, the BMA was our trade union and was the organisation to help us in that regard.

Asked when the BMA meetings about extended hours were, no one was sure. The LMC executive officer said that a representative had been invited but had declined to come; obviously the most important issue for me as a GP in 20 years was not important to the BMA.

It was then pointed out that the BMA represents all doctors and that many of our hospital colleagues simply did not support us, so we were unlikely to receive decisive support from the BMA.

At first I was unwilling to believe this, but now I have been forced to change my mind.

I was hoping the BMA would stand its ground and stand up to the government. I was hoping that it would collect a determination from all doctors never to open for extended hours while the government pursues its blame-and-bully approach. I was hoping that we, like the police, would be marching on Downing Street to hand in our petition of 'no confidence' in the government.

No such luck. We have been left to fight on our own.

Dr David Jewson, Loughborough.

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