Overtime dispute draws doctors

March 17, 2005 at 1:42 PM

CARDIFF, Wales, March 17 (UPI) -- The British Medical Association passed a no confidence vote against the Welsh government for nonpayment of overtime wages to health consultants.

The hospital consultants say they've not been paid for extra hours worked since they voted to adopt a new contract in November 2003, icWales.com reported Thursday.

The BMA vote is an embarrassment for Welsh Labor, the report said.

Welsh Health Minister Brian Gibbons said the dispute over the nearly $55 million payment was close to resolution and apologized to doctors for the delay.

Richard Lewis, Welsh Secretary of the BMA, said in Cardiff: "The necessity to voice our lack of confidence in the Welsh Assembly Government goes beyond the inherent delay in implementing the contract, beyond our fears that under funding of this contract ... will lead to a further deterioration in services to patients and a failure to recruit and retain consultants in Wales."

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