The BMA will put “absolutely everything” on the table including strike action when it determines the medical profession’s response to the government’s NHS reforms at a Special Representative Meeting next month.
Doctors’ leaders have set out a series of demands to ministers they say must be met before they can support the Health Bill, including amendments to ensure GPs are free to co-operate with hospital specialists and to scrap moves for providers to compete on price.
BMA council agreed to hold an emergency meeting on 15 March and, in a hardening of its stance, called for the government to halt implementation of GP commissioning until legislation has passed through Parliament. Prime Minister David Cameron insisted he was “determined” to see the reforms through as the health bill moved to its second reading this week.
Dr Steve Hajioff, who will chair the meeting as head of the BMA’s Representative Body, said: “Absolutely everything about our response and the way we engage could change, with the bill as a whole and sub-sections. We’ll know what members think about competitive tendering, for example, and what they require us to do. That could vary from welcoming something, to doing nothing, to organising a strike ballot. The last is unlikely, but it is possible.”
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