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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 July 2017

BMA doctor's union in shift to left at conference

BMA stall at Euston station, London, 12.1.16, photo Gary Freeman

BMA stall at Euston station, London, 12.1.16, photo Gary Freeman   (Click to enlarge)

ZoŽ Brunswick, BMA conference delegate

This year's annual representatives meeting, the conference of the BMA doctor's trade union, saw some of the most left wing policy agreed by the BMA so far.

Motions were passed condemning the government's underfunding of the NHS as purposeful and to reject sustainability and transformation plans in their entirety.

Also, progressive policy was passed to support decriminalising abortion - currently a very important issue, particularly in Northern Ireland.

These changes were in part due to the large student and junior doctor contingent this year. However, many passionate speeches in support of the NHS were delivered by delegates from all branches of practice.

Socialist ideas were welcomed by many, both in the speeches given within the conference and the response outside. One evening even ended with chants of "Oh, Jeremy Corbyn" by a large group of junior doctors. We sold 22 copies of the Socialist over two days.

Enthusiasm

This move to the left by the BMA and the enthusiasm of its members must be welcomed, but things should go further. Despite passing good policy outlining the BMA's position on the current situation, motions were lacking in concrete action plans.

All too often, motions asked the BMA to "lobby the government" or simply stated a position on current affairs.

In the current context, united action could bring down the government. The BMA should be looking to back up its strong positions with concrete plans - to support mass demonstrations such as the one that took place in London on 1 July and forge links with other trade unions to fight back against the public sector pay cap and underfunding of the NHS.

Coordinated mass action between health unions can bring down this weak and wobbly government and save our NHS.

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In The Socialist 12 July 2017:


What we think

This bosses' government must go


Socialist Party news and analysis

Grenfell stitch-up: unions should call independent inquiry

G20 betrays refugees created by its own policies


Socialist Party feature

Striking Barts health workers show 'fighting trade unionism'


Workplace news and analysis

Vote for action to save Ford plant

Low-paid cabin crew protest in middle of 16-day stoppage

Wales: DWP announces office closures and job losses

BMA doctor's union in shift to left at conference

Strike action against driver-only operated trains continues

Durham TAs reject council's pay offer


Socialist Party feature

The left unions and the Labour Party affiliation debate


Socialist history

July Days 1917: battles with counterrevolution


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Lots of discussions at the Miners Gala on the way forward

The Socialist spring offensive

Southampton Labour must reverse devastating council cuts

Waltham Forest - fighting school cuts

Fighting corporate takeover at London Pride

Chingford: Corbyn attacks pay freeze during tour of marginals


Save our NHS

Huddersfield parties in the park to save hospital A&E

Save Glenfield heart centre

Leeds campaigns to save NHS on its 69th birthday


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

School students' remarkable tribute to workers' Spanish Civil War bravery

The Socialist inbox


 

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