GP calls out doctors over threat to strike and urges apology from BMA

GPs: BMA's threat of strike action criticised by doctor

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A family doctor has slammed the British Medical Association (BMA) over plans for a ballot on industrial action over a package of proposals put forward by NHS England for more face-to-face appointments. The plan put forward by Health Secretary Sajid Javid was rejected by the BMA’s England GP committee at a meeting on Thursday. Dr Gerlis argued that doctors walking out on strike was a “fundamental” breach of the Hippocratic Oath to provide for patients. 

Dr Gerlis told GB News: “I don’t think the Government really with plans to name shame.

“I don’t think the GP should strike, I think GPs like the police should not be allowed to strike.

“I think doctors withdrawing their labour is a fundamental abrogation of the responsibility and the Hippocratic Oath, quite frankly.

“I don’t think they’ll strike, they’ve got no public sympathy at the moment because some GPs and some practices have not used the technology properly and have used it as a barrier between them and their patients.”

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He added: “I’m disappointed with the BMA I used to be a member,  it’s not a learning medical body it’s a trade union.

“I’ve read their magazine the BMJ every week, and there has been no hint of an apology for the huge number of people and if you only have to read social media to see how many people have been let down by their GPS, there has been no hint of any apology from the BMA and I think they should do that.

“I think the two sides, we should knock their heads together and we should say use the technology, use it properly.

“We’re not going to name and shame and come on let’s all get back to work and start treating patients, and sorting out this waiting list.”

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GPs have reacted with fury to a package of proposals put forward by NHS England and Mr Javid aimed at improving patients’ access to care but which doctors believe will “name and shame” surgeries if they do not carry out enough face-to-face appointments.

The package was rejected by the BMA’s England GP committee at a meeting on Thursday and doctors have been urged by the union not to comply with the “very worst aspects” of the Health Secretary’s plan.

The committee backed taking steps towards industrial action over plans to force some GPs to publish their earnings and to oversee the Covid vaccination exemption process.

Dr Richard Vautrey, the chairman of the BMA GP Committee, said: “GPs have been left with no alternative but to take this action.”

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He added: “All efforts to persuade the Government to introduce a workable plan, that will bring immediate and longer-term improvement for doctors and their patients, have so far come to nought.

“The Government has completely ignored our requests for a reduction in bureaucracy to allow us to focus more on patient care, and we are therefore encouraging doctors to withdraw from this bureaucracy themselves.

“The ultimate outcome should be to end the current crisis in general practice, to properly support practices to manage their workload pressure, including safely getting through the backlog of care caused by the pandemic and deliver a safe service to patients, allowing time to create an agreed long-term plan to make general practice sustainable for the future.”

As part of the plan GP surgeries which fail to provide an appropriate level of “access” will be named and shamed in league tables as patients are given a new right to demand face-to-face appointments.

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