Letter: Suggestions, not scare tactics for the NHS

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Sir: Dr Andrew Molyneaux (letter, 7 July) is wrong when he charges me with 'scaremongering' about the current state of affairs in the NHS. The truth is the reverse. The BMA, and I as chairman of its council, spent last week trying to reassure our patients that doctors are committed to preserving the highest possible standards of care.

I acknowledged in my speech to the BMA representatives in Birmingham that there have been some improvements over the past few years and that some areas are faring well under the new market philosophy. But at what cost? Fragmentation and competition have not been in anyone's interests, let alone patients. The growth in bureaucracy, contrary to what Dr Molyneaux says, is unacceptable.

What is required now is a commitment on all sides to recognise what is happening to the NHS and to reach a consensus on how we can best move forward. I have set out my ideas on how this might be done. It is now for others to respond.

Yours faithfully,


Chairman of the Council

British Medical Association

London, WC1

12 July