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Surgeon predicts mass retirement

A surgeon who is taking early retirement predicts many colleagues will do the same in order to take advantage of the new pension scheme and end their frustrations with the NHS.

Mr Rawlins, an orthopaedic surgeon at Bedford Hospital, said he expected many colleagues to leave before the age of 65, with many now eligible for an extra 10,000 a year in their pensions under the new consultants' contract, reports The Times.

Currently 59, Mr Rawlins plans to retire in the next two years, so he can claim his maximum achievable pension. While the financial incentive is a bonus, like many doctors he has become disillusioned with the NHS.

"I don't think any of us had plans to go much before we were 65 when we started out on our careers. But the job we are now doing is not the one we trained for, and quite a lot of doctors have had enough.

"Throughout the country they are finding that they are no longer medically qualified practitioners for the civil NHS but civil servants who happen to be medically qualified."

"There seems little reason not to take our pensions and escape all those frustrations," he added.

Mr Rawlins is chairman of the Eastern Region Consultants' Committee.

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