BMA may seek legal challenge over curbs on private practice

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 03 March 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:507
  1. Roger Dobson
  1. Abergavenny

    Plans to bar new consultants from working in private practice for seven years have been denounced by the BMA as insulting and potentially unlawful. The BMA is taking legal advice on what grounds may exist for a potential challenge in the courts.

    The government claims that its proposed new terms and conditions for consultants—increasing their starting salary by £10000 ($15000), to £60000—are designed to link pay levels to commitment to the NHS and improved service delivery and patient care.

    “Since 1948 the assumption has been that the only way for consultants to get by is by doing more private work,” said Alan Milburn, secretary of state for health. “That cannot be right, either for NHS consultants or NHS patients.”

    The partial ban on private work is at the heart of the government's detailed proposals for negotiating new consultants' contracts, announced on 21 …

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