Letter: NHS shakeup
Friday 30 April 1999
The essential features of United Kingdom general practice are the registered patient list, continuity of care, comprehensive care relating to all age groups and across all disease groups and the unified medical record. International evidence indicates that these are vitally important to the cost-effectiveness of the UK health system and to the quality of health outcomes in this country. Countries that provide primary care services without these essential attributes demonstrate fragmentation of care, more expensive care, and often poorer health outcomes.
Health care within a state-funded system with limited resources cannot be made available as if it was a consumer benefit equivalent to shopping at the supermarket. An appropriate level of restraint on the part of individuals in relation to self-limiting and non-serious medical symptoms and conditions is vital. A populist and consumerist approach to the provision of health care is likely to lead to inappropriate care, waste of scarce resources and increased health inequalities.
On behalf of the Royal College of General Practitioners I have spent a considerable amount of time collaborating with the profession and governments overseas in developing primary care systems. It is ironic to find that other countries are increasingly valuing and copying the essential features of our primary care system at a time when our own government, in spite of its rhetoric in support of primary care, proposes untried and unevaluated systems which have the potential to damage and degrade the service.
A more sensible approach would be to provide the additional resources that are clearly available and build on the current success of our system in a collaborative way with the nursing and medical professions.
Dr PHILIP R EVANS
Chairman, International Committee
Royal College of General Practitioners
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 2 Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
- 5 Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Scottish independence referendum: Franz Ferdinand, Mogwai and Frightened Rabbit to play in support of Yes campaign
Unseen Charlie and the Chocolate Factory chapter deemed 'too subversive' released
Strictly Come Dancing 2014: Gregg Wallace joins Mark Wright, Pixie Lott and Judy Murray in line-up
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
Al Pacino's The Humbling and Manglehorn, film reviews
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court