BMA meeting: BMA refuses to reject health bill “in its entirety”BMJ 2011; 342 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d4126 (Published 29 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d4126
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Nigel Hawkes falls below the standards of journalistic accuracy
normally associated with the BMJ in his report on the BMA's ARM debate on
the Health and Social Care Bill. Conference did not "narrowly support"
the withdrawal of the bill, it voted by 59% to 35% to call for the bill to
be withdrawn. He also misreports the margin by which the call for
outright opposition was defeated. The true figures were 51% opposing the
motion, not the 54% he states. The accuracy of BMJ reports on these votes
is important. Ministers need to know the true extent of opposition to
this damaging bill. Sadly Nigel Hawkes misrepresents the votes at
conference. The BMJ should publish a correction.
Competing interests: Member of Keep Our NHS Public
I was at the BMA ARM in Cardiff. Nigel Hawkes states that the result
of the ballot to "reject the Bill in it's entirety" was 45% calling for
outright rejection and 54% opposing the motion. My recollection was that
45% voted for the motion, 4% abstained and 51% voted against the motion.
Maybe a small point, but if my recollection is correct, this is not a 9%
difference but 6% and who knows which way the abstentions would have
There was a seperate motion calling for the Bill to be withdrawn,
which I spoke to. This motion was passed. It is a pity that this was not
Competing interests: No competing interests