Posted: Thu 22nd Dec 2022

Doctors in Wales considering industrial action for the first time, says BMA Cymru

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Dec 22nd, 2022

Doctors in Wales could take industrial action for the first time the British Medical Association Cymru has said.

Chair of the BMA Cymru is seeking an urgent meeting with Welsh government following the results of a survey.

It found that almost two-thirds of hospital doctors in Wales are willing to take some form of industrial action including strike action over their current pay and conditions.

The survey – which ran for the first two weeks in December – featured responses from doctors working in every health board in Wales.

The questions were designed to gauge members’ views on the latest below inflation pay award of 4.5% from Welsh Government.

The survey revealed that 63.3% of respondents would be willing to take industrial action, up to and including strike action;

78% of respondents felt that a pay rise that matched or exceeded inflation was needed to reflect their current contribution.

The BMA’s Chair of Welsh Council Dr Iona Collins said: “This survey result is upsetting to all, including the doctors who took part.”

“Doctors are healthcare professionals who invest most of their lives to care for others.”

“They care passionately about their jobs and take their vocations seriously.”

“It’s gut-wrenching for doctors to consider walking away from work, when doctors know that they are so desperately needed in the workplace.”

“Doctors have been quietly quitting the NHS for years, by reducing their contracted hours or leaving altogether.”

“The financial incentive to remain in the NHS has eroded over the last decade.”

“Furthermore, a change in NHS pension taxation has seen senior doctors who have worked overtime in good faith punished for propping up the NHS by paying more than the overtime pay back as pension tax.”

“No other healthcare system devalues their doctors like this, so there is little wonder that so many doctors leave the NHS to work elsewhere.”

Dr Collins said: “Patient waiting lists are at record high levels and the NHS workforce predicament is affecting healthcare colleagues across the board.”

“Without action now, patients will continue to suffer as a direct consequence of an under-funded NHS with insufficient direct clinical care.”

“On that basis we hope the Welsh Government will now finally wake up to the crisis in the medical workforce and take serious action, starting with better pay awards as part of an urgently required plan to address years of pay erosion.”

On next steps Dr Collins said: “I have written to the Minister for Health and Social Services to inform her of the results of this survey and to seek an urgent meeting to discuss the need for immediate action.

“Members on our branch of practice committees will now discuss the survey results and decide the next steps.”

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