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 Manning is a social entrepreneur, writer, campaigner and commentator. She is based in London and is the founder and Chief Executive of 2020health, an independent, social enterprise Think Tank whose aim is to Make Health Personal. Through networking, technology, research, relationships and campaigning 2020health has influenced opinion and action in fields as diverse as bioethics, alcohol, emerging technologies, fraud, education, consumer technology and vaccination. Julia studied visual science at City University and became a member of the College of Optometrists in 1991. Her career has included being a visiting lecturer at City University, a visiting clinician at the Royal Free Hospital, working with south London Primary Care Trusts and as a Director of the UK Institute of Optometry. She specialised in diabetes (University of Warwick Certificate in Diabetic Care) and founded Julia Manning Eyecare in 2004, a home and prison visiting practice for people with mental and physical disabilities using the latest digital technology, which she sold to Healthcall (now part of Specsavers) in 2009. Experiences of working in the NHS, contributing to policy development, raising two children in the inner-city and standing in the General Election in Bristol in 2005 led to Julia forming 2020health at the end of 2006. Julia is a regular guest on TV and radio shows such as BBC News, ITV’s Daybreak/ GMB, Channel 5 News, BBC 1′s The Big Questions, BBC Radio, LBC and has taken part in debates and contributed to BBC’s Newsnight, Panorama, You and Yours and ITV’s The Week. She is mum to a rugby-mad son, a daughter passionate about Shakespeare, and wife of a comprehensive school assistant head-teacher. She loves gardening, ballet, Zimbabwe, her Westies Skye and Angus, is an honorary research associate at UCL and a Fellow of the RSA.
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