Should doctors go on strike?

Jun 19, 2012

Doctors are taking industrial action for the first time in 40 years in the UK!

I have found this a very difficult issue. We earn well compared to most people. The country is in the middle of an austerity drive unparalleled in our life times. And yet, doctors pensions were renegotiated only 4 years ago, and apparently our pension pot is in excellent shape. What is more, doctors are being asked to give 14% of their salary to support the new and less favourable pension terms.

We choose to do medicine because we are driven by a desire to help others. Many of us could have chosen jobs with much higher incomes but we wanted to do something noble with our lives. I personally rejoice every day that I chose such a worthwhile and rewarding career path.

But is the government taking us for a ride? I just wonder whether they could have handled this issue rather better? It does not seem right to change doctors pension conditions after only four years and with really quite onerous requirements.

So will I strike? No, but I feel vexed and troubled that my colleagues have been pushed to vote for industrial action. I fear it is not wise to alienate the one group of professionals who are more respected than any other in the UK (see here if you don’t believe me!).

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