Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Head To Head

Are doctors justified in taking industrial action in defence of their pensions? Yes

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e3242 (Published 08 May 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e3242

Rapid Response:

Re: Are doctors justified in taking industrial action in defence of their pensions? Yes

These pension changes are unpleasant but don't warrant industrial action,
Any meaningful action will harm patient care and therefore the reputation the profession continues to enjoy. There's a good chance that it would be as good for our industry as it was for British car workers in the 70s and miners in the 80s.
I think the arguments miss the main point. We're living longer. The NHS and the BMA need to find ways to make working into our 7th decade more palatable. Right now we have to work flat out, or go part time until we retire. There could be mechanisms to allow older doctors more flexibility to take career breaks. This wealth of experience could be used in medical schools, in 3rd world countries, in mentoring juniors. With a bit of imagination our employers and negotiators could make living longer seem a positive thing rather than a burden.
Going on strike just puts us on par with British Leyland.

Competing interests: No competing interests

13 May 2012
Ian Quigley
GP principal
Western Road Medical Centre, Romford
32 Rockingham Ave