Exclusive: GPs could take industrial action over contract, warns BMA chief

BMA chairman Dr Mark Porter has warned that 'cavalier' DH threats to impose changes to the GP contract could trigger industrial action.

Dr Porter, who was due to meet health secretary Jeremy Hunt on Thursday, said it was a 'little early' to talk about a ballot at this stage. But he said the next steps to take would be discussed at next week’s GPC meeting, which he plans to attend.

He said GPs could opt for industrial action on proposed contract changes, which include an overhaul of the QOF and a plan to axe MPIG that could slash six-figure sums from practice income. ‘It is always one of the options that is open to a profession whose negotiations are treated in a – I think it is fair to call it – a cavalier manner.'

Dr Porter backed GPC negotiators and said that it was not them who walked away from the negotiating table.

He said the BMA was seeking further assurances from the government about the effect the proposals will have on GPs. ‘We are attempting to seek as many details as we can. We will be able to discuss this at the next GPC meeting and to understand the implications on general practice in general, and GPs themselves, and their practices.'

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