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Changes are afoot for doctors pensions in England which will see doctors having to make higher contributions to their pensions, with the highest earners contributing 14.5% of pay by 2014. And in 2015, there will be a switch to a career average revalued earnings, which your pension will be based on. The BMA claim that "For hospital doctors this means the end of final salary scheme, resulting in a 30% reduction on a like-for-like basis." Also - NHS staff will now be required to work until they reach the state pension age of 68.
There is clearly a lot of upheaval and the BMA are balloting their members for industrial action, to protest at these new terms. They have assured critics that any industrial action taken would not impact on patient safety and that complete withdrawal of labour is not an option, but that non-emergency care would be unavailable over a 24 hour period.
However, others are worried that striking over pensions cannot be justified, because doctors are already well paid and have a pensions that most of the nation would be envious of. In the "No" camp, there are concerns that if doctors strike, that this will damage the doctor-patient relationship and people will lose respect for doctors over time.
Indeed, these are tough times, but striking in these tough times when there are 2.5m people unemployed and many people do not even have a pension, a doctors strike might not gain much public sympathy and could even damage the profession. But then again, if your future pension was being threatened, is it only natural to want to defend it?
Should doctors strike in defence of their pensions? What impact might this have, if any?