Patrick Christys calls for it to be ‘illegal’ for GPs to strike
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Proposed plans from NHS England and Health Secretary Sajid Javid to force GPs to conduct face-to-face appointments on request have been met with condemnation from the British Medical Association (BMA). The medical trade union has threatened industrial action over the decision, stating they fear practices will be “named and shamed” if they do not carry out the appointments. GB News presenter Patrick Christys was furious as he pointed out the Government’s investment to try and fix the medical backlog could be undone and demanded it to be illegal for GPs to strike to ensure there is no worry about medical provisions.
Speaking on GB News, Mr Christys was furious after some GPs were threatening to strike despite the UK Government increasing funding to clear the Covid backlog.
He said on his programme: “I’m calling, right now, for it to be made illegal for GPs to go on strike.
“The British Medical Association is threatening that GPs could strike at 6,600 practices in England.
“Not because of pay, not because of working conditions, but because they don’t want to be named and shamed if they don’t see patients face to face.
“The police are legally banned from striking, why not GPs?”
Under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, police officers would be breaking the law if they withhold their services or commit a breach of discipline.
Those who work in the police are the only people who are bound by law to not strike but other public services also have their own agreements with the Government.
Mr Christys continued: “We’re pumping money into the NHS, we’re in the middle of the biggest crisis the NHS has ever faced and these new measures by Sunak won’t help to reduce the backlog of waiting lists unless our GPs stay in work.
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“We need our GPs in work, and whilst I’m sure we all hoped that common decency, common sense, a sense of duty, the inability to sleep at night if you go on strike and people die would compel them to stay in their surgeries.
“That’s not the reality sadly, so maybe the Government should be the ones to compel them – Make it illegal for them to strike.
“I’m already fearful that this £6billon is just going to get swallowed up in a sinkhole of NHS waste, questionable pay structures.
“Like the fact a diversity officer can be paid four times as much as a life-saving nurse.
“We absolutely cannot have GPs going on strike as well, make it illegal.”
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The BMA is balloting for industrial action of NHS England proposals for more face-to-face appointments.
The package will force GP practices to carry out more face-to-face appointments if they are requested to fix the Covid backlog.
But some doctors have rejected the package as they do not want to be “named and shamed” if they do not carry out the personal meets.
Some doctors also consider virtual appointments to be enough to not only protect vulnerable people in clinics but it can be a quicker and more efficient way to work.
The committee backed taking steps towards industrial action over plans to force some GPs to publish their earnings and to oversee the Covid vaccination exemption process.
Dr Richard Vautrey, the chairman of the BMA GP Committee, said: “GPs have been left with no alternative but to take this action.”
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