Health targets unattainable, say GPs

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The Independent Online
Health targets introduced by the Government in 1992 are largely impossible to achieve, family doctors believe.

The survey, reported in the British Medical Journal, of more than 250 GPs found that although half had plans for meeting the targets, most thought they were unattainable. Targets for cancer were said to be the easiest to meet nationally and the reduction of suicide rate the least attainable. In their own practices, GPs listed reducing rates of heart disease and stroke as their priority target. But only a quarter believed the government's targets could be met.

The doctors said they were hampered by an excessive workload, too ambitious targets, unrealistic timescales, apathy among patients and lack of funds. They also pointed to their lack of influence over socioeconomic factors linked to health.