Doctors unhappy with fundholding

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The Independent Online
Less than one-third of family doctors believe in the principle of GP fundholding, according to a survey published yesterday. And even among those who are already managing their own budgets, support for the principle runs at less than half.

The system has been condemned by some doctors as promoting a two-tier system whereby the patients of fundholding GPs may obtain treatment earlier than those with traditional surgeries. Eighty-five per cent of those questioned thought there should be only one system of financing for all GPs and four out of five thought the money spent on administration could be better used. Paul Evans, of the NHS Support Federation, which commissioned the survey, said: "Most GPs want one system that treats each patient fairly and doesn't waste public money on bureaucracy. Given a free choice, GPs would not choose fundholding."