Sunday, 1 April 2012
I read a press release from the doctors' trade union - the BMA - the other day.
My interest perked up when I read the bit about the BMA's plans for industrial action which seem to involve - as far as I can tell - the doctors still getting paid as normal while disrupting services to their patients.
See what you think yourself - here's part of the BMA press release which caught my eye:
"The BMA will ask NHS doctors across the UK whether they are willing to provide only urgent and emergency care for a 24-hour period. Under the BMA’s plans, outlined today, patient safety would be the priority. Doctors scheduled to be in work would go to their usual workplaces, and provide all emergency care and other care urgently needed, but would not undertake some duties that could safely be postponed.
Decisions about what could safely be postponed would be based on the professional judgement of doctors locally who, with the support of the BMA, would aim to work with employers, so that as much advance notice can be given to patients as possible.
The action would be likely to involve the postponement of routine operations and non-urgent outpatient appointments in hospitals. GP practices would remain open and staffed so they could see patients in need of urgent attention, but routine, non-urgent appointments would not be available on the day of action. A series of actions are being planned but the impact on patients of the day of action would be reviewed before a decision to proceed with further action was made."
Now to my mind that's what's called - having your cake and eating it at the same time.
So if the BMA gets its way - doctors will be allowed to decide what they do, how they do it and when they will do it - since this will all be down to their 'professional' judgement.
But because doctors will still be at work - they will still get paid - which really is as daft as it sounds.
Because it means that only people who will suffer in this dispute - are the patients who have their appointments or operations cancelled.
Who knows maybe this will catch on with the fuel tanker drivers?
Because they could say they're on going strike - but demand still to get paid by saying they'll decide amongst themselves - which petrol stations and other locations they are willing to deliver a service too - using their professional judgment, of course.
No wonder the BMA is such a successful trade union - everybody seems to defer to its Alice in Wonderland approach to industrial relations.