Doctors to take industrial action over pensions
Medics to handle only urgent and emergency cases
DOCTORS across the North-east are to take industrial action for the first time in 40 years over a pensions wrangle.
As reported in later editions of yesterday’s Evening Express, a day of action will take place on June 21.
GPs, hospital doctors, consultants and junior medics are among health professionals who will only attend to urgent and emergency cases.
Staff involved across the country will postpone non-urgent cases for patients as part of an ongoing row with UK ministers over changes to their retirement packages.
North-east politician Richard Baker said today he regretted the disruption to services but insisted the highly-qualified medical staff had not taken the decision lightly.
The Labour MSP said: “Of course we will want to minimise any potential disruption to services but there will inevitably be some impact.
“This will cause some anxiety among patients but I think this shows the level of frustration among doctors that they have decided to take industrial action for the first time in decades.”
The planned industrial action came after the British Medical Association (BMA) held ballots on the action.
Dr Hamish Meldrum, chairman of council at the BMA, said: “We are taking this step very reluctantly, and would far prefer to negotiate for a fairer solution.”
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