ISLAND GPs will not be joining their counterparts in the UK in industrial action over pensions.
The British Medical Association announced last week that doctors are to take part in a ‘reluctant’ day of action on June 21 – their first industrial action in almost 40 years – in protest at the Westminster government’s controversial pension reforms. Emergency medical care will continue but BMA members will postpone non-urgent cases.
But Dr Alex Allinson, chairman of the GP sub-committee of the Isle of Man Medical Society, which is affiliated with the British Medical Association, says doctors here won’t be joining the industrial action as doctors have signed up to the Manx government’s unified pension scheme.
He said: ‘From April this year, doctors and nurses have signed up to the unified pension scheme which has been negotiated over the last two years with the help of the BMA whose representative came over from London on several occasions.
‘We have agreed to the changes in the pension scheme which will mean paying more for your current pension but people already in the scheme will be guaranteed the same benefits and the same retirement age.
‘The difference in the UK is that they have not had the same consultation. The Isle of Man Government has been proactive in responding to the comments not just of the BMA but also of the other unions.’
In the UK, the BMA have accused ministers of pressing ahead with ‘unjustified’ increases to pension contributions, and a later retirement age.