Doctors will leave NHS unless they see pension reforms, union warns

0

The doctors’ union also called for Chancellor Philip Hammond to meet with them and ‘agree a definitive solution’

In brief

  • ‘Current Government policy is driving doctors out of the workforce’
  • Doctors are not happy with a proposed solution

The Conservative Government must reform NHS pension taxation or risk an exodus of doctors and a major workforce crisis, the British Medical Association (BMA) has warned.

The doctors’ union has requested an urgent meeting with Health Secretary Matt Hancock to see what can be done to stop experienced doctors leaving.

Concerns about high-earning doctors’ pensions were raised in 2016 after the introduction of the “tapered annual allowance”.

Under the scheme, for every £2 of income above £150,000 per year, £1 of annual allowance is lost.

‘Unsolved problem’

However, earlier this month Mr Hancock proposed allowing employees to reduce pension contributions to 50 per cent, while maintaining employer contributions at 100 per cent.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, the BMA said the 50:50 proposal “will not solve the problem”.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the BMA council, wrote: “Current Government policy is driving doctors out of the workforce.

“This [50:50] option will not only result in doctors receiving a lower pension, but it also does not remove the perverse incentive for doctors to reduce the work they do for the NHS.

“Without the good will of doctors to cover waiting lists and gaps in rotas as well as extra sessions in GP surgeries, patients will suffer.”

‘Severe shortages’

The BMA outlined the impact the pension tax is having on the Defence Medical Services, which organise medical and dental services within the British Armed Forces.

Theresa May was warned there could be “severe shortages” and “risk the ability to deploy” unless a resolution is found.

The letter also called for the Chancellor Philip Hammond to meet the BMA and “agree a definitive solution”.

Dr Nagpaul added: “The power to resolve this situation ultimately lies with the Treasury and frankly it has taken too long for the problem to be properly acknowledged.”

Share.

About Author

Leave A Reply