BMA launches campaign to safeguard medical training, UK

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The British Medical Association (BMA) launches a campaign to alert the UK government to doctors’ concerns about the future of medical training. It is calling on doctors and medical students in England to e-mail their MPs about the need for budgets for their training to be ringfenced.

Currently the funding can be used by NHS trusts in financial difficulty for other purposes. As a result, trusts have stopped funding many courses necessary for doctors to complete their training.

The BMA is also lobbying for the speedy creation of an independent body to oversee postgraduate medical education, which would reduce political control over the way doctors are trained.

Both measures were recommended by Sir John Tooke following his recent inquiry into medical training reforms, but the government has deferred making a decision. The BMA is concerned that the proposals could be lost in Lord Darzi’s current review of the NHS in England.

Dr Hamish Meldrum, Chairman of Council at the BMA, says:

“The quality of doctors’ training should not be left to the vagaries of financial management in the NHS, or political point-scoring. Ringfenced budgets, and a new independent body are obvious steps that would do much to improve the way doctors are trained. If the government makes these decisions now, it will be hugely beneficial to the NHS. If it does not, it will be to the ultimate detriment of patient care.”

Source: British Medical Association, UK

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