Page 12 Daily Mail, Thursday, August 1, 2019
40% of GPs
retire or cut
Bin Laden’s son, the Crown
Prince of Terror, ‘is dead’
FOUR in ten GPs have taken
early retirement or slashed
their hours because of a pen-
sions crisis in the NHS.
A further third of family doc-
tors are planning to reduce their
appointment times within the
next year, figures reveal.
Campaigners warned last night
the crisis is putting patients’ lives at
risk and making it ‘harder than ever’
to get an appointment.
Pension reforms introduced in 2016
have forced senior doctors to cut
their hours to avoid a tax bill that
can run into tens of thousands.
A survey of 6,000 senior doctors by
the British Medical Association,
released today, revealed 70 per cent
of hospital consultants and three
quarters of GPs have either reduced
their hours or are planning to.
The vast majority of these have
cut back their hours in the past few
penalised by tax charges on their
pensions that have significantly
increased under Treasury rules
introduced in 2016.
Under the new rules, anyone earn-
ing more than £110,000 a year will be
hit with a tax charge if they put
more than £10,000 into their pen-
sion pot each year. Previously, they
could pay up to £40,000 into their
pension pot a year tax-free.
These individuals will be hit by
additional charges if the value of
their pension pot exceeds £1million.
These rules affect all high earners
but doctors – whose average sala-
ries are more than £100,000 a year –
are among the hardest hit.
Joyce Robins, from Patient Con-
cern, said: ‘It is absolutely horrify-
ing. It’s already difficult enough to
get a GP appointment. This will
make it harder than ever to be seen
by a doctor and put lives at risk.
‘It’s not my impression that doc-
tors do too badly and it sounds a bit
greedy, but if the Government needs
to sweeten the pot to stop them
quitting, it should do.’
The NHS is short of 10,000 hospi-
tal doctors and relies on GPs and
consultants working overtime to
plug gaps in the rota.
Dr Richard Vautrey, chairman of
the BMA’s GP committee, said:
‘With patient lists growing and the
numbers of GPs falling, swift and
decisive action is needed from
the Government to end this sham-
bolic situation and to limit the dam-
age that a punitive pensions tax-
ation system is inflicting.’
Boris Johnson promised last week
to tackle the pressures on family
surgeries and has pledged to ‘fix’
the pensions crisis.
The Department of Health and
Social Care said: ‘We’re consulting
on how we can make NHS pensions
more flexible and we will listen to all
views on our proposals.’
By Eleanor Hayward
and Sophie Borland
THe son of Osama bin Laden
- who was being groomed as
the new leader of Al Qaeda –
has reportedly been killed.
The US had intelligence that
Hamza bin Laden was no longer
alive, but there were no other
details, NBC News said.
Washington has not officially
confirmed the death which
comes three months after
it put a $1million (£820,000)
bounty on Hamza’s head.
If confirmed, it would mean
that Al Qaeda has been thwarted
in its attempt to use Hamza as
its spiritual and tactical leader.
He was described as the ‘crown
prince of terror’ in 2008 by
former Conservative MP and
security spokesman Patrick
Mercer. Hamza’s last public
statement was released by Al
Qaeda’s media arm in 2018 in
which he called on people in the
Arabian peninsula to revolt.
He was believed to be aged
around 30 and his last known
whereabouts were thought to
be on the border of Pakistan
and Afghanistan. He had not
seen his father since he was 13.
In a September 2017 article
counterterror expert and former
FBI agent Ali Soufan said that
Hamza was ‘being prepared for
a leadership role in the organi-
zation his father founded’.
Hamza had reportedly found
favour because Al Qaeda’s cur-
rent leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri,
an egyptian born, bespectacled
strategist of 68, had failed to
inspire a new wave of fanatics.
In announcing the $1million
bounty, the US State Depart-
ment said that Hamza was
seeking revenge for the killing
of his father during the raid in
2011 by US Navy SeALs.
While Al Qaeda’s influence has
waned in recent years, the
group, which carried out the
9/11 attacks, is still regarded as
a major threat.
Bounty: Hamza bin Laden
From Daniel Bates
in New York
Dynasty of terror: Hamza bin Laden pictured with his father Osama
‘It is absolutely
months with no sign of a way to
solve the problem.
Patients are bearing the brunt,
with hospital waiting times soaring
by up to 50 per cent and consult-
ants having to cancel growing num-
bers of non-urgent operations.
Meanwhile, GP waiting times are
increasing as the pensions row exac-
erbates a shortage of doctors.
earlier this week, the Mail revealed
how the numbers of patients per GP
have risen by a third in the past two
years in some areas of england.
One 56-year-old GP, who has
halved his hours to avoid a tax bill
of £40,000, said he is now one of the
oldest doctors in Gloucestershire
because so many of his colleagues
are taking early retirement.
The BMA says the pensions crisis
is the ‘greatest immediate threat’ to
patient care. Doctors are being