The Liberal-Denocrat CONservative coalition government is driving GPs away from the NHS.
- Conservative election poster 2010
A few recent news articles about the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.
Earlier this week GPonline.com reported that GPs are beginning to take early retirement because of confusion around NHS reforms. The results of our poll on the issue show that 75% of you believe the Health Bill is leading GPs to retire early.
However, it is not just NHS reform that is causing GPs to consider early retirement. As the comments below our story show, changes the government is making to the NHS pension scheme are also likely to be a major factor in any decision.
Pension contributions look set to increase at a time when income for most GPs remains static (or is even falling because of rising expenses). There is also concern about the impact of the government proposals on the final value of any pension.
GPs are working harder now than ever before. And, with uncertainty about the future because of the Health Bill, worries about lack of resources in the NHS due to spending constraints in the coming years and little prospect of any increase in pay, it’s no surprise that many GPs are thinking about hanging up their stethoscopes early.
Add to this the proposed changes to public sector pensions, which means that some doctors may be financially better off if they retire now, and the government is creating a perfect storm that makes early retirement seem the only sensible option to many GPs of a certain age.
Health unions are united in their opposition to Government plans to make NHS workers pay more, work longer for less pension.
While sector talks continue, the unions have set up a campaign group to coordinate their responses and to prepare for the possibility of industrial action. Christina McAnea, UNISON Head of Health said:
“No union wants this, but our members are facing cuts in jobs, a pay freeze at a time of rising inflation, increasing workloads and stress, as well as the potential break-up of the NHS as we know it – in England at least.
“Now the Government is proposing an average 50% increase in pension contribution rates (more for higher paid staff) and staff will have to work longer to get less.”