Andrew Lansley to urge striking doctors to protect patients
With doctors having planned to embark on industrial action on June 21 – the first ever protest by them since 1975 -, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley will reportedly write a letter to the British Medical Association (BMA), asking the doctors to ensure that their forthcoming strike does not put the safety of patients at risk.
The letter which Lansley will write to the BMA will chiefly call on the doctors to be "true to their word” in ensuring patients’ safety, and will serve as a reminder to them about NHS commitments on waiting times; more so because if operations and diagnostic tests are cancelled – as a result of the loss of a day's work on June 21 -, it would amount to a breach of the commitments.
With the forthcoming walkout by the doctors essentially being an upshot the changes which have been made to their pensions, the key reason for the protest is the plan to raise the retirement age of the doctors from 65 to 68 years, and to increase pension contributions.
The decision about the industrial action came after a ballot of over 100,000 doctors showed a clear majority in support of the strike, on a turnout of 50 percent.
Noting that the protest “is the only option left to try to get a fair deal,” a BMA spokesman said that though the industrial action will “disrupt the NHS,” patient safety will remain “the absolute top priority.”