GPs threaten to resign from NHS

A majority of the family doctors in the UK will consider
resigning from their NHS contracts next spring, if suitable new
contracts are not re-negotiated, writes Clare

The 36,000 GPs in the UK were asked to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to
the following question in a British Medical Association ballot:
‘Would you be prepared to consider submitting an undated
resignation from your present NHS contract should the government
fail to agree both significant and acceptable changes to the
present general medical services contract and the right of the
general practitioners committee to negotiate on behalf of all NHS
family doctors?’

Ballot forms were returned by 66 per cent of GPs, totalling
22,380. Of these family doctors, more than eight out of 10 said
‘yes’, they would consider resigning next April, if a satisfactory
outcome is not reached by then.

In all four countries of the UK, there were high response rates.
In Scotland 84 per cent of doctors voted ‘yes’, and in Wales, 87
per cent. Northern Ireland voted by a massive 90 per cent to
resign, with 86 per cent of GPs in England saying ‘yes’.

Dr Hamish Meldrum, joint deputy chairman of the BMA’s
general practitioners committee (GPC), said: “The message this
ballot sends could not be clearer or louder. The result
demonstrates the depth of disenchantment, despair and disillusion
felt by GPs throughout the UK.”

Meldrum continued that the GPC is pledged to work with the
incoming government to achieve a solution to these problems, a
solution that provides NHS patients with the quality of care they



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