I’ll be was going to be on the BBC discussing the forthcoming strike by GP’s. I happened to read this item on the BBC which states as a fact, not an opinion, that “A majority of doctors voted in favour of action in a BMA ballot of 104,000 members over pension changes.” This is VERY misleading as you have to scroll down several paragraphs to discover that just 50% of BMA members actually bothered to cast a vote in the first place. It also ignores the fact that there are plenty of doctors who are NOT BMA members. So it would be more accurate to say that a minority of  doctors have voted in favour of industrial action. The pension pot required to sustain the current GP pension is well in excess of £1m, another factoid the BBC choose not to put on their website. We’ll sort if out later.

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  1. Guest Who says:

    BBC facts & maths… a rich seam.
    And there’s a lot of it about, with unique interpretations abounding from 3% squeak throughs when the person/subject is not in favour to…oo, the same as a clear endorsement when the narrative requires a boost.
    Or 100:1 trouncings that get called the public being ‘split’.
    I fear, as a veteran of the BBC CECUTT (Complaints, ECU, The Trust) they will have their full semantic forces deployed, and ‘public who speak’ filters in place to ensure ‘we’ are represented only by those who agree with them once you have left the building and it’s safe to rig the debate again. They may even bring back your opponent afterwards to ‘follow up’. That seems to happen a lot, too.


  2. TigerOC says:

    I think it worth noting that under Liebor GP’s like many in the Health sector received non-market related/Internationally recognised remuneration increases. Medics/para-medics from all over the World have flooded into the UK to take advantage of the NHS generous pay packets.

    Lets look at the consequences of this mess. My GP practice works 9 to 5. Tough if you get ill after hours. You’ll probably be seen by some chap who qualified in some 3rd World black hole who cannot speak English anyway. His treatment may even kill you.
    Many times if you are ill and need to see someone urgently you’d be better off going to A&E because at the local practice you’ll be referred to the practice nurse for screening.
    So in a nut shell GP’s, like many in the NHS, have doubled their salaries, provide less services and get barefoot doctors to screen who sees them. When the system is clearly unsustainable they want to force the issue.
    Having been a health professional for many years myself, it is understood when entering your career, that you do so as a calling with unreserved humility and dedication to heal the sick. Your reward is the healing and gratitude of the patient and not the size of your bank account.
    These modern medical professionals are a disgrace to their forbears and their professions.


    • geyza says:

      I can remember a time, when I was ill, my GP would come out to see me, whatever time day or night.

      I used this service very sparingly and respectfully and can only remember three occasions when I needed such medical attention.

      These days, I am lucky if I can see my own GP at my surgery at all, even between 9 – 5. And if I have the audacity to be ill out of hours, I have to risk my, and other people’s health, to get myself up to A&E at the hospital to see the out of hours GP.

      We paid them a lot more to do a lot less, now they are bitching that they are being asked to retire when the rest of the UK will have to retire.

      Excuse me if I have zero sympathy for the selfish bastards! I will be lucky if I even get to retire on anything above a basic state pension, but them I am employed in the private sector and have to pay into a crap, loss-making private pension whose value can go up or down. Not a golden public sector one.

      They really do not know when they are well off and when they are taking the piss! Welcome back into the real world doctors. Labour sold you an unsustainable lemon and you were all wrong to take it!


      • Wild says:

        The BBC churn out dramas about how wonderful public sector workers are, but in my experience GP’s are greedy, time serving, incompetent twats, who I would not piss on if they were on fire.


        • Pah says:

          Sadly that description seems to apply to almost anyone one employs these days.

          Try getting a plumber who a) speaks English and b) actually knows to turn off the water before cutting through a pipe …

          I’d be worried but then no-one seems capable enough to do that these days either!


          • ROBERT BROWN says:

            Had to get a new lock fitted recently, and i had to calculate the VAT for the smith, who was unsure of how to do it on his calculator, seriously, i had already done it in my head, and when it was 17.5%! What is going on? He was english too.


            • AttleeMacDonaldWilsonBevanCallaghan says:

              As though him being English gives him some divine quality of mathematical ability? Foreigners?! Doing maths?! Hahahahaha. I’ve lost faith in the future of this country. France/Germany here I come.


    • johnnythefish says:

      Typically too, these days, displaying the bedside manner of a chimpanzee suffering from ADHD and a bad case of haemorrhoids.


  3. Roland Deschain says:

    My practice wants to see me sometime this month to review my blood pressure. (No, no idea what might be giving me high blood pressure :wink:)

    Think I’ll make the appointment for 21st June to see if they’re striking. If they are I’ll be letting them know what I think and show them my latest pension statement. After any injections are needed, of course.


  4. Umbongo says:

    It is clear that however many doctors actually belong to the BMA (and, I suspect it’s the vast majority), of those voting in this ballot an overwhelming majority voted for strike action. Sure this suits the BBC “cutz” narrative and the BBC is making the most of the “even those saints, the doctors, hate the Conservatives” theme.
    However, condemnation of this intended strike by a large number of doctors should target the doctors. Frankly, the idea that a doctor should consider penalising patients (with the figleaf of maintaining “emergency” treatment) is quite disgusting. Given that this dispute is purely a matter of money rather than health makes this action even more deplorable.
    As TigerOC writes, thanks to the previous Labour administration, general practice is now 9 to 5, 5 days a week. God help you if you’re ill outside those hours: even within those hours the prospect of a home call is vanishingly small. Outside those hours, if going to the local A&E is not on, the visit of a locum doctor qualified abroad and speaking a simulacrum of English is about what you can expect.
    The medical “profession” is now fully a part of the public sector and, together with the traditional de haut en bas attitude handed down over the generations, demonstrates all the dumbed down, patronising arrogance of the “jack in office” mentality. However, they also get the benefit – restricted to the public sector – of an inflation-proofed pension. Inflation proofing is, in reality, just not available generally in the private sector at any price.


  5. David Preiser (USA) says:

    So, of the people who thought it was important enough to respond, the vast majority voted to strike. The other half didn’t bother because….why? Seems like it’s always the case with these issues where only the most partisan bother to vote at all. Kind of like that bogus 97% figure for climate scientists convinced of AGW.


  6. maturecheese says:

    I’m glad you have brought up the misleading statement about a majority of Doctors voting. I picked it up the moment I heard it on 5 Lies and was tempted to put it on the open thread but was too busy. They mentioned that 50% of the Doctors voted but in a matter of fact way and then a couple of sentences later highlighted the percent of doctors that voted for a strike (was it something like 70%) giving the impression that 705 of all Doctors voted to strike.
    I am quite disgusted by the greed that these so called professionals are showing. When GP’s had a massive pay hike under Labour; in my area, they cut the amount of hours they were available to be seen. Get paid more and do less, great deal if you can get it.


    • Pah says:

      They can afford to supplement their pensions. I doubt I’ll ever see mine again thanks to Gibbo the Imprudent.

      No poncing around the village with Miss Marple for Pah!


    • maturecheese says:

      Call me paranoid but one could think that the massive pay hike Labour gave the GP’s is now being paid back by troublemaking for the Tory led coalition. I know,I shouldn’t stop the meds:)


  7. chrisH says:

    I suppose that there`ll be no mention of
    1. The Godawful contracts that Labour drew up with the dentists and doctors-they put the country into deep doo doo with their outlandish salaries, perks and one-sided commitments to treat people out of hours, private provision etc.
    A dogs dinner of malign, lazy cack-handed incompetence and all due to Rosie Winterton and her Health MPs who “negotiated” these scandalously-inept contracts.
    Pensions were obviously stitched up then.
    2. But then along came Alan Johnson as Health Secretary-not before he had bottled the pensions review that he was meant to be doing-nobbled by the unions that bankrolled him and his type. Therefore leaving us with these pensions that he was too chicken to reform-and the consequences are with us now.
    Can`t imagine either Labour or the BBC being too willing to give us any context to any or all of this…..bloody Tories eh?
    Still-if there`s no Tory able to screw Labours incompetence and malice in public after the last thirteen years or so-maybe we need a new Right, that won`t let the likes of Balls and Flanders get away with continual lies and smarm.


  8. hippiepooter says:

    I fear DV that you could be accused of pedantry here. Councillors are elected on far lower turnout, and Governments elected on first past the post. I dont think you’ll carry Joe Public with you on this point.


  9. London Calling says:

    Doctors know better than anyone else about the continuing increase in life expectancy. A lot of it is their fault!
    If you get more years out of your pension it is not unreasonable to have to put more into it, or to adjust the balance between years contributing to years drawing out. It’s not rocket science, its simple maths.

    If they want to keep their pension age , contributions and entitlements unchanged, they should stop living longer and sign a Euthenasia agreement. They could even save us all money by administering it themselves.

    It’s like voting against austerity. A form of highly nuanced stupidity.