Doctors and Healthcare Staff Need Priority Petrol Station Access: BMA

Tim Locke

September 27, 2021

Healthcare workers need priority access to petrol stations during the fuel crisis, the British Medical Association (BMA) said, otherwise some won't be able to do their jobs.

Government ministers insist there is enough fuel to go around but say panic buying has caused long queues at pumps. Some petrol stations have had to close.

BMA Council Chair, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, said in a statement: "Emergency and essential workers rely on fuel both to travel to work and for their work itself – whether this is to get to hospitals, practices and other healthcare settings, or for ambulances to reach people in urgent need of care and GPs to visit very ill patients at home.

"Everyone will have their own reasons for needing to fill up, but as pumps run dry there is a real risk that NHS staff won’t be able to do their jobs and provide vital services and care to people who urgently need it.

"While the Government has said it is putting plans in place to alleviate the shortage of HGV drivers to transport fuel, the results of this won’t be immediate. Healthcare and essential workers must therefore be given priority access to fuel so they can continue their crucial work and guarantee care to patients."

Unison said some forecourts should be designated for key worker use. 

General Secretary Christina McAnea said: "Ambulance crews, nurses, care workers, teaching assistants, police staff and other key workers mustn’t be left stranded or forced to queue for hours simply to get to a pump.

"The Government could solve this problem now by using emergency powers to designate fuel stations for the sole use of key workers."

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Lead Image: PA Media

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