Doctors call for tougher line on privatisation
A grassroots revolt against NHS reforms is growing among GPs. Doctors, alarmed at measures to increase competition and encourage privatisation, are demanding that the British Medical Association adopt a tougher line with the Government.
Motions submitted to an emergency meeting of the BMA to be held in London on 15 March are calling for the association to switch from its policy of "critical engagement" to one of outright opposition. The growing scepticism matches that from think-tanks such as the Kings Fund, the Commons health select committee, health service unions, medical journals including the BMJ and Lancet, and even David Cameron's brother-in-law, a cardiologist in Hampshire.
At a meeting of the BMA's London division, attended by 240 doctors last week, members overwhelmingly backed a motion calling for the BMA to scrap its engagement strategy and conduct a national poll to establish what industrial action members would be prepared to take, short of harming patient care.
Simon Burns, the health minister, who spoke at the meeting, faced catcalls and questions from angry members demanding to know why the Government had not piloted the changes and why they had not been mentioned in the manifesto, according to doctors' magazine, Pulse.
The co-operation of GPs is crucial to the success of the reforms, which will see them take control of 80 per cent of the NHS's £100bn budget. But the BMA has come under increasing pressure since publication of the Health Bill in January which showed the association's objections had been ignored.
Kevin O'Kane, chairman of the BMA's London region, said: "There were 240 professionals at the meeting, seriously concerned about what the Government is doing to the NHS. My personal view is that the legislation is fatally flawed. The introduction of GP commissioning is a fig leaf for privatisation of the NHS."
Similar motions calling on the BMA to harden its stance have been submitted by the north-west and north-east regions of the BMA.
Life & Style blogs
Google Maps hides image of Android robot urinating on Apple in surprisingly insolent Easter egg
KickassTorrents down: new Isle of Man domain taken offline just hours after launch
Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
Blueprint Map: Can you guess the name of the city from its outline?
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 4 Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 5 'Isis' schoolgirls: Missing British teenager tweets picture of her Syrian takeaway
£15000 - £70000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to ...
£12 - £14 per hour: Recruitment Genius: We are looking for someone to join a s...
£15310 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has arisen for a...
£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This market leader in Medical Devices is...