Medical appointments for sick Brits are backing up because the British Medical Association, a doctor’s union, has called a 24-hour action curtailing non-urgent medical procedures and paperwork.
The doctors say government has reneged on a pension deal agreed to four years ago. The government says the agreement is no longer possible given the global economic downturn affecting Europe. The government claims doctors make plenty and the action is penalizing patients, according to an AP report.
The action which BMA refuses to call a strike is the first of its kind in 40 years. Thousands of doctors took part in the action that has left patients wondering about their health care. Health officials claim the overall impact on services was limited.
The medical association represents 100,000 doctors, however Britain's health ministry said that only about 11,500 doctors had joined the partial shutdown of medical care. About 25-percent of doctors' practices were impacted by the curtailment of medical treatment, with about 2,000 health centers reporting at least one staff member had joined the protest.
Approximately 2,700 non-urgent operations were canceled and 18,750 outpatient appointments had to be rescheduled as a result of the action, according to the ministry.
Polls suggest the action is not supported by most Brits. Many public sector (government) workers are facing job cuts or pension cutbacks as government slashes billion in spending. Private-sectors workers have also seen their pensions hit by the global financial crisis.