Is the BMA still relevant?

Sharp words are being spoken at the BMA conference today against competition (so the want protectionism?) , changes to pensions (so they are happy to see Doctors pensions bankrupt the country?) and any financial repercussions on the NHS of the deficit (ring-fencing a budget is one thing, deficit impact-denial is another).

But only 25% of their local negotiating committee (LNC) chairs bothered to respond to the BMA survey on the impact of the economic crisis. We conjecture that this is because most front-line staff witness the waste in the system and genuinely believe there is room for improvement; that they don’t see private providers as the enemy but organisations with a parallel interest in patient care who have shown themselves ready and willing to share the burden; and that there are those who appreciate that current NHS pension provision is unsustainable.

We regret the BMA chairman’s stance. Just because the last government were in denial of the financial crisis in the past doesn’t mean that he can use this as an excuse to be totally unrealistic about the future.

About Julia Manning

Julia is a social pioneer, writer and campaigner. She studied visual science at City University and became a member of the College of Optometrists in 1991, later specialising in visual impairment and diabetes. During her career in optometry, she lectured at City University, was a visiting clinician at the Royal Free Hospital and worked with Primary Care Trusts. She ran a domiciliary practice across south London and was a Director of the UK Institute of Optometry. Julia formed 20/20Health in 2006. Becoming an expert in digital health solutions, she led on the NHS–USA Veterans’ Health Digital Health Exchange Programme and was co-founder of the Health Tech and You Awards with Axa PPP and the Design Museum. Her research interests are now in harnessing digital to improve personal health, and she is a PhD candidate in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) at UCL. She is also dedicated to creating a sustainable Whole School Wellbeing Community model for schools that builds relationships, discovers assets and develops life skills. She is a member of the Royal Society of Medicine’s Digital Health Council. Julia has shared 2020health's research widely in the media (BBC News, ITV, Channel 5 News, BBC 1′s The Big Questions & Victoria Derbyshire, BBC Radio 4 Today, PM and Woman's Hour, LBC) and has taken part in debates and contributed to BBC’s Newsnight, Panorama, You and Yours and ITV’s The Week.
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