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Brainless Myopic Anencephalic

May 18, 2007

What is the BMA for?

I am a member of the BMA. It costs me nearly £400 per annum. I like the magazine, and I like to know what jobs are being advertised. Those are about the only benefits it brings me.

The thing is that as I’ve already said, I don’t believe that consultants should need a trade union. We are professionals and experienced and can speak up and negotiate for ourselves. There are doctors who may benefit from a trade union, as they can be more easily exploited by the system. They are called junior doctors and they have just been completely shafted by the new MTAS system introduced by my favourite health secretary. What does the BMA do? nothing. In fact James Johnson wrote THIS letter to the Times today supporting the process.

Now if I was the head of a trade union in which half my members were effectively threatened with random dismissal by a computer system which hadn’t even been through Beta testing, I think on the whole I would side with my members, and try to find a workable solution. JJ doesn’t see it that way and is presumably toeing the government line in the hope of being Sir James at some time in the future.

Spineless, useless, worthless

So back to my original question-what is the BMA for, and whose interests does it serve?

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11 comments

  1. Good question. The word lackeys comes to mind.


  2. There are 2 doctors in our household. We don’t need 2 copies of the BMJ, so one of us is resigning and joining the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HSCA) instead.
    Why? The BMJ are now saying that Consultants who withdraw from specialty training interviews risk losing their jobs. One of the boycott organisers, Dr Gordon Caldwell complained that “the BMA should be supporting its members, but the the wording comes across as bullying”.
    How many of these limp biscuits from BMA and the MMC will be “Honoured” for their cooperation? We will never know.
    On related thread, see my website http://racheljoyce.blogspot.com/ for news on how junior doctors being told to lie to meet European Working time targets.


  3. I think I would ask the same question of UNISON,and many of the other unions with members in the public sector. The BMA is useless, but it doesn’t as far as I know bankroll the NUlabour project.


  4. Rachel I may just do the same. I think what I have read today has turned me from angry to incandescent with the BMA. Regarding failure to participate in the process JJ says such action…has not been approved by the BMA and would be unlawful. Who the hell does he think he is?


  5. Hi Mens Sana,
    not wanting to go off track

    But are we back to the 10,000 junior doctors who might not be offered job by the NHS

    But if you ‘privatise’ the NHS will that create more doctors jobs – or simply make health care more costly – and more ‘profitable’ for those who already have jobs.


  6. Incidentally, strange that the only two trade unions that Thatcher didn’t SMASH
    were the Conservative BMA
    abd the Conservative Bankers Union

    And the trade unions that are thriving under new labour are The private Housing Associations

    and private dental surgeries
    privatised GP surgeries
    privatised NHS Trusts or Foundation Hospitals
    and PFI

    but I don’t see any improvement in dentistry for those who cannot pay
    and only a fool (or a liar) would believe that further privatisation will provide better health care for All. Not in a million years.

    It will provide better health care for those in certain jobs, in certain income brackets, and with certain health insurance plans, and it will consume the £90 billion from the NHS –
    leaving crumbs of the table for the rest of the population.

    We are not beating cancer, the Cancer of privatisation is spreading ‘alarmingly’ in the NHS.
    It is no longer benign, it is becoming malignant.
    And not even Radio Therapy can slow this terminal illness in the nhs.

    Ironic therefore to hear of junior doctors crying about the nhs not having jobs (for life) to offer them


  7. Q9 I am not sure which side you are on in this debate!

    Regardless of views about whether or not junior doctors should be entitled to a job my point is that the trade union would be better to stand up for the rights of junior doctors who are potentially exploited (all be it in a very nice way compared to children going down mines) rather than to negotiate on behalf of senior doctors deals which may be financially good for doctors but do the NHS no favours.

    PS I don’t want to privatise the NHS (at least not what I would call privatise) I just want to make it work better for patients. That doesn’t preclude having well paid and motivated staff


  8. PS – I agree any ‘successful’ business needs to have a well paid and motivated staff

    However as you know some ‘efficient’ industries were run bt slave drivers.

    And those Consultants & GPs who have benefitted from the profitable deals in the past, now want the next generation of GPs & junior doctors to buy their high priced surgeries or ‘places in hospitals’ with big mortgages – to ensure they enjoy a nice little nest egg or contribution to their retirement fund.

    You can’t both encourage the ‘excesses’ that create the situation – and then bemoan the situation.

    If a junior doctor needs a million pound mortgage for a pitiful three bedroom house, he requires a much larger income than the Consultant who bought a five bedroom home for less than £100,000 – Cappiche?


  9. PS – I agree any ‘successful’ business needs to have a well paid and motivated staff

    However as you know some ‘efficient’ industries were run bt slave drivers.

    And those Consultants & GPs who have benefitted from the profitable deals in the past, now want the next generation of GPs & junior doctors to buy their high priced surgeries or ‘places in hospitals’ with big mortgages – to ensure they enjoy a nice little nest egg or contribution to their retirement fund.

    You can’t both encourage the ‘excesses’ that create the situation – and then bemoan the situation.

    If a junior doctor needs a million pound mortgage for a pitiful three bedroom house, he requires a much larger income than the Consultant who bought a five bedroom home for less than £100,000 – Cappiche???


  10. Q9 – The ratio of house prices to average earnings is a completely different question. High house prices have served Labour well, but needs to be tackled – (PS not by introducing HIPS)


  11. No doubt you will be delighted at the latest news about James Johnson. You may like to watch Newsnight tonight, it’s about low morale among NHS staff, surprise, surprise!



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