Monday, June 19, 2006

Are the BMA the modern equivalent of the NUM?

The BMA continues to moan, because the government wants to hold down doctor's pay-rises. Government wants overall health rises to be 2% and doctors pay to rise at 1%, so that other health workers can get a bit more than 2%. The government's position is reasonable - they've more than made good previous underpayment of doctors, doctors are now paid better than average (indeed they are the highest paid doctors in Europe) and now the rises need to moderate. The public won't tolerate any more rises and certainly won't pay extra tax to indulge the doctors.

The BMA always cloak their greed with protestations that their pay rises are for the public good, but are they? While no one wants badly underpaid doctors, no one wants hugely overpaid doctors either.

The other bizarre thing is that the doctors contracts seem to be negotiated nationally - is there any other industry with this practice? (they also set "recommended rates" for private doctors fees nationally). Surely it would be better for local trusts to negotiate the pay for their doctors locally. That way trusts with financial problems can cut their wage bill with a pay freeze instead of having to resort to redundancies.

The BMA is probably the most powerful union in the country and they retain their power because they are a Tory union. If any other union was behaving like them the Daily Mail would be up in arms. They also have a history of trying to scam money out of Labour governments - see the trouble they caused the Atlee government when the NHS was set up.

Perhaps the Labour government should do to them what the Tory government did to the NUM.

1 comment:

Richard W. Symonds said...

Old Labour's Aneurin Bevan had problems with the BMA and won - and a decent NHS was born.

New Labour has problems with the BMA and loses - and a decent NHS died