Health boss respects union vote decision

Philip Astle, SCAS chief operating officer and, right, Paul Jefferies, assistant
director of operations

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PORTSMOUTH’S head of public health said he respects the decision of doctors to take industrial action – despite not voting for it himself.

Doctors will stop providing non-urgent care for one day on June 21 in the first such action by the profession for nearly 40 years.

The move comes after a majority of doctors voted in favour in a British Medical Association ballot of 104,000 members over pension changes.

Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, director of public health for Portsmouth, said his personal view was that the industrial action was not appropriate in the current financial climate.

He said: ‘The result of the ballot was a fairly conclusive finding and does show the concerns that BMA members have about their pensions.

‘I personally did not vote for that, I don’t think it is the right way to go forward, but it is very clearly the view of the majority.’

Some 79 per cent of GPs, 84 per cent of hospital consultants and 92 per cent of junior doctors who responded voted in favour.