Letter: Pressures on doctors to 'cherry-pick' patients

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The Independent Online
Sir: It is not only the chronically sick, old and mentally ill who are removed from doctors' lists. One of the commoner reasons for whole families being 'struck off' is when a pregnant woman asks for a home birth. This happens even when she arranges for midwifery care and the GP is unlikely to be involved, since emergencies will be referred to hospital.

Extra payments for ante- and postnatal care are a major source of GP postnatal income. Why are taxpayers buying expensive maternity care from doctors who are so terrified of being called to a birth that they would rather remove long-standing patients from their lists? Antenatal care from people who cannot cope with birth is potentially unsafe.

Yours sincerely,

BEVERLEY A. BEECH

Chair

A sociation for Improvements

in the Maternity Services

Iver, Buckinghamshire

11 July

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