BMA and Strike Action

Strike Action delayed –
Ballot –

The BMA has called off strike action at the eleventh hour, with the government and the BMA agreeing to postpone such action in favour of talks.The entirety of this row is great evidence for pressure groups in Unit 1.

Firstly, the role of the BMA has been crucial. Depending on the typology that you use they would commonly be seen as an ‘insider’ group providing specialist information to the government (for example in the 2012 Lansley NHS Reforms). However, in this instance, unhappy with proposed changes to junior doctors contract they balloted their members on strike action, a method we would more likely associate with an ‘outsider’. Either way, you could certainly attribute this to a ‘sectional’ group, defending the interests of junior doctors.

It is crucial that they have had some level of success – they forced the government to ‘blink first’. Facing the threat of strike action, the government has been forced to rethink it’s offer; while this has come to nothing concrete yet, it is a start.

Please remember, the 20,000 junior doctors protest was not organised directly by the BMA but by Dr Anna Warrington on Facebook, showing the importance of social media and the speed with which such things can be organised. This is still a useful example but try to use it alongside the BMA rather than attributing it to the BMA.