Mablethorpe GPs speak out over strike action decision

FOUR Mablethorpe GPs planning to strike on Thursday over a pension row have defended the move.

Dr JK Sharrock, Dr G Atkin, Dr M Ernst and Dr S Raza, from the Marisco Medical Practice, are among most of the 104,000 British Medical Association members taking industrial action.

Though the four will still be at work they will provide urgent and emergency care only, and will be cancelling non-urgent cases.

Health Minister Andrew Lansley said the action would harm patients, but the Marisco doctors have reassured residents that ‘doctors will be there when our patients need us most’.

The action centres around pension reforms which members feel are shortchanging doctors.

The Marisco doctors said: “Despite agreeing to major reforms in 2008 that made the NHS pension scheme fair and sustainable, doctors are now being asked to work even longer, up to 68, and to contribute much more of their salary, up to 14.5 per cent.

“These contributions are twice as much as those of civil servants at the same level of seniority and pay, for the same pension. This is the first industrial action by doctors since 1975 and it is not a decision we have taken lightly.

“We are not looking for preferential treatment from the Government but are taking action because we want fair treatment.

“Doctors feel let down by the way the Government has torn up a deal that was fair, sustainable and affordable.”