She told the conference in Brighton that the medics’ union should follow rail unions, in embracing industrial action – paying tribute to RMT chief Mick Lynch.
“We should take our lead from the RMT, they have quite rightly said enough is enough. No more pay erosion, no more service cuts… The RMT’s issues very much chime with those we face in the NHS -solidarity to them. So let’s channel our inner Mick Lynch. Please support this motion,” she said.
BMA ‘bitterly disappointed’ by contract change
The BMA has previously said it was “bitterly disappointed” with changes to the GP contract which the Government imposed in April without reaching an agreement with the union over its terms.
Under the new contract, GPs are required to provide full services from 9am to 5pm on Saturdays, from October 1.
Doctors also argue that the terms are too inflexible, overly bureaucratic and take power away from GPs to decide how to allocate funding to best serve their communities.
They fear the changes are a move towards stripping GPs of their right to “independent contractor status”, which means they are self-employed and can manage practices as their own businesses.
Earlier in the week, the BMA passed a motion calling for a 30 per cent pay rise for all medics – threatening strike action if their demands were not delivered.
The motion backed a campaign to increase pay for all doctors, including hospital consultants, who earn around £120,000 a year on average, and GPs, who earn an average of £100,000.
It also covered junior doctors, who earn between £29,000 and £58,000 per year.
The union had already said it will prepare for a ballot of junior doctors in England for strike action by early 2023, unless demands for a 30 per cent pay increase are met.
The vote on Tuesday focussed on GPs – who have already voted in favour of industrial action, in a ballot last year, but held off taking it.
On Monday medics said a real-terms pay cut in the last 12 years meant doctors had lost millions of pounds each.