LETTER: Don't blame the doctors

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The Independent Online
AS a GP, I thank my lucky stars that I have not (yet) been placed in Dr Goodall-Copestake's unenviable position ("Doctor dumps children to meet cash targets", 5 November). Unlike some other countries - the US, for example - there is no compulsion in the UK for parents to have their children immunised. Instead, GPs face withholding of pay if their patients exercise their legal right to refuse immunisation. To most of the profession, it seems unfair that we should be penalised when often every attempt has been made to persuade parents to accept immunisation for their children.

Much is made by the Government of business management in the NHS, but no business knowingly accepts clients that will lose them money. A business- led NHS is not compatible with a patient-centred NHS. The blame should be placed, not on doctors, but on the Government which forces such situations.

Dr P A Bradbury