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Demoralised doctors in Wales considering industrial action for the first time

by Ozva Admin
Demoralised doctors in Wales considering industrial action for the first time

Wrexham.com > News

Aware: Thu 22 Dec 2022

Wrexham.com for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area

Demoralized doctors in Wales are considering going on strike for the first time.

In a recent survey of hospital doctors conducted by BMA Cymru, 63% of respondents indicated that they would be willing to take some form of industrial action, including strike action, for their current pay and conditions.

The survey, which was carried out during the first two weeks of December, included responses from doctors who work on all Welsh boards of health. The questions were designed to assess members’ views on the latest below-inflation (4.5%) wage premium from the Welsh Government.

Their findings come just days after Welsh nurses and ambulance staff took part in a landmark industrial action over pay and working conditions.

The BMA survey also revealed that 78 per cent of respondents felt a pay increase to match or exceed inflation was needed to reflect their current contribution.

BMA Welsh Council chair, Dr Iona Collins, said: “The result of this survey is upsetting to everyone, including the doctors who took part.

“Doctors are healthcare professionals who spend most of their lives caring for others.

“They care passionately about their work and are serious about their calling. It is heartbreaking for doctors to consider leaving the job, when doctors know they are desperately needed in the workplace.

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

“The financial incentive to stay on the NHS has eroded over the last decade.

“In addition, 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 overtime pay as pension tax.

“No other healthcare system devalues ​​its doctors in this way, so it is no wonder so many doctors leave the NHS to work elsewhere.

“Patient waiting lists are at record levels and the NHS workforce situation is affecting healthcare colleagues across the board. If action is not taken now, patients will continue to suffer as a direct consequence of an underfunded NHS and insufficient direct clinical care.

“On that basis, we hope that the Welsh government will finally take notice of the crisis in the medical workforce and take serious action, starting with better pay as part of an urgently needed plan to address years of wage erosion.

Dr Collins has now written to Health Minister Eluned Morgan to inform her of the results of this survey and to request an urgent meeting to discuss the need for immediate action.

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

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