MP appeals against Burnley doctor strike

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DOCTORS who are due to strike at the end of the month are being urged to rethink their decisions by Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle.

On Thursday 21st June, doctors across the country will hold a day of action, to raise their concerns over the NHS pension scheme. While they will still be in the workplace throughout the day, they will only be providing urgent and emergency care.

Mr Birtwistle feels thats GPS in the area should reconsider their plans, and has issued an appeal against the strike.

He said: “I can’t think of a good reason why any GP should want to go on strike, they are well paid and well respected for the job that they do.

“The government under the new NHS proposals have given them more responsibility and freedom with budgets, in turn giving them more influence about their patients care.

“I would appeal to all GPs to ask them not to strike as they are a critical part of the community delivering a vital service to all members of the community.”

This will be the first industrial action taken by doctors since 1975, and it is a decision that according to the British Medical Association (BMA) has not been “taken lightly”.

In a public letter, a spokesman from the BMA said: “It is with great regret that we, UK doctors, have been forced to take industrial action in order that our voice is heard by the Government,

“We feel that it is important to explain why we are taking this action and what impact it is likely to have on your experience of the health service.

“We will be postponing non-urgent cases and although this will be disruptive to the NHS, doctors will be there when our patients need us most and our action will not impact on your safety.

“We feel this action is vital in order to address the unfair treatment of the NHS pension scheme.”

NHS East Lancashire PCT could not confirm how many GPs are due to strike in Burnley.

A spokesman said: “East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust anticipates minimal disruption to elective surgery and clinics.

“The Urgent Care Centre at Burnley will be fully open and running as normal as will the Emergency Department at the Royal Blackburn.

“Any patients whose appointments will be affected by the industrial action will be contacted this week.”

For more information on the strike visit www.bmaaction.org.