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.

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About Julia Manning

Julia Manning is a social pioneer, writer, campaigner and commentator. Formerly a clinical optometrist specialising in diabetes and visual impairment, she is the founder and Director of 2020health, an independent, social enterprise Think Tank whose aim is to Make Health Personal and Social. 2020health has through research, events and campaigning influenced opinion and action in fields as diverse as bioethics, alcohol, emerging technologies, fraud, education, consumer technology and vaccination. In 2014, 2020health were founding partners of the Health Tech and You Awards with Axa PPP and the Design Museum. Since 2016, 2020health has increasingly focused on digital health and public health in the community. Julia is a Fellow of the RSA and now also a part-time PhD student at the UCL Interaction Centre, studying the use of digital technology for stress management in the workplace. 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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