In its pre-election manifesto, the BMA is calling for improved pay for doctors, reform to the pensions tax, and a public vote on any proposed Brexit deal.
The manifesto argues for pay increases for doctors which “truly values the medical workforce and helps to retain staff”. It stresses the need for government to commit to introducing a mechanism to address historic underpayments to doctors.
It also puts pressure on political parties to rescind the “punitive” annual allowance and tapered annual allowance pensions tax regulations which “are driving senior doctors out of the workforce”. Without action on this issue, the staffing of services is in severe jeopardy, it warns.
The document calls for ministerial and commissioner accountability for staffing levels across health services to be enshrined in legislation to ensure that individual clinicians are not blamed when the system places them under unmanageable pressure.
The manifesto reiterates the BMA’s stance on Brexit. “No Brexit deal will ever deliver the benefits which the UK’s current membership of the EU confers on patients, the medical workforce and health services across the UK and Europe,” it says. “Given what we now know about Brexit, it is vital the public has the final say on any proposed Brexit deal,” the document states.
Writing in the manifesto, BMA Council Chair, Chaand Nagpaul says Brexit and health are two clear priorities for the UK voting public.
“Patients and doctors need parliamentarians of all parties to support their concerns and to prioritise the NHS and its workforce. From addressing Brexit-related medicine shortages, to waiting lists, to workforce gaps and the damaging impact of pension taxation policies driving doctors out of the profession, to cuts to public health - our manifesto for health is the blueprint from which the NHS can grow and thrive,” he writes.