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HomeHealthFury as £128,000 NHS advisers allowed to do PRIVATE work on strike...

Fury as £128,000 NHS advisers allowed to do PRIVATE work on strike days


Anger over NHS doctors being allowed to do PRIVATE work on strike days: £128,000 consultants could cash in on a 48-hour extension, with only the public patients missing out

  • It has been found that hospital consultants can do lucrative private work while on strike
  • British Medical Association (BMA) said members are free to earn extra money

Hospital consultants were accused tonight of ‘kicking patients in the teeth’ after it emerged they can do lucrative private work while on strike.

It means the elderly doctors – with an average NHS income of £128,000 – can benefit from the misery caused by their two-day strike next month.

The British Medical Association (BMA) said today its members would be free to earn extra money by conducting private surgeries and consultations during the strike. Patient groups describe the BMA’s position as ‘unscrupulous’.

Health leaders have warned that a ‘double whammy’ of industrial action by consultants and junior doctors will cause disruption to ‘many thousands’ of patients and poses a ‘massive risk’ for the NHS to manage.

Trainee doctors will strike for five days from July 13 to 18, in the longest strike in NHS history, before consultants leave on July 20 and 21.

The British Medical Association has announced they will be holding a two-day strike next month (photo: medics demonstrating in London two weeks ago)

Both groups are aiming for a 35 percent wage increase to fight inflation. The combined action is likely to result in the cancellation of more than 300,000 appointments, hampering efforts to clear the record waiting lists of more than 7.4 million.

Tory MP Paul Bristow, who sits on the Commons Health and Social Care committee, said: ‘How can it be good that during a strike some consultants are making money? This is a kick in the teeth for patients waiting for life-changing surgery.

“The BMA needs to sit down and negotiate on behalf of their members.”

Fellow Conservative MP Ben Bradley added: ‘This is sheer hypocrisy. It’s time the BMA put patients first and stopped the strikes.’

Consultants already do more than 800,000 private procedures a year, according to official figures, with many benefiting from rising demand for private healthcare fueled by record NHS waiting lists.

They typically charge £2,500 for hip and knee replacements or cataract surgery, £250 for an initial consultation and £150 for follow-up checks, according to the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN). Some ask much more.

Patients must pay consultants’ fees plus additional costs to the hospitals where their procedures take place.

The statutory body, which collects data on private healthcare, said 12,200 consultants conducted private procedures last year. In 2022, there were 820,000 private hospital admissions and day cases, more than any year since data collection began.

Consultants announced the strike on Tuesday after 86 percent supported the move in a vote, on a turnout of 71 percent. They will only provide a bare-bones ‘Christmas Day’ service, meaning they will provide emergency care, but most routine treatments will be cancelled.

Dennis Reed, director of Silver Voices, which campaigns for the elderly, said: ‘It is unconscionable for consultants to use a strike as an opportunity to expand their private practices.

“Consultants don’t have a hard time and many older people have a pension that is a small part of these doctors’ incomes, so they will be less supportive than nurses.”

The BMA said: ‘If a consultant is not contracted to work for the NHS on strike days, they can either support the strike…they can start doing that work on that day.

“However, we recommend that they support the union action and remain available to the NHS in case the strike is called off as the government returns with a credible offer.”

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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