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Crisis blamed on reforms

5th July 2006

The current financial crisis in the NHS has been caused by spending money on unproved reforms instead of patient care, say doctors.

Doctors at the BMA's annual meeting of representatives in Belfast blamed the government for the financial crisis in the NHS, saying the current deficit of more than £500million was due to relentless government policy, which has diverted billions of pounds away from patient care.

Middlesex GP and a member of the General Practitioners Committee of the BMA, Chaand Nagpaul, told delegates the crisis was not due to doctors pay rises or spendthrift trusts and lamented the once in a lifetime opportunity the additional funding offered to improve the NHS.

Constant reorganisation had cost around £1.5 billion, he said, while £1bn had been paid to private management consultants. The NHS IT programme had gone £14bn into the red.

Jacky Davis, a consultant radiologist at the Whittington Hospital NHS Trust in north London, added the government had spent £33bn last year on centrally funded initiatives including the Modernisation Agency and NHS University, which had done nothing to improve patient care.
Meanwhile, other representatives attacked the private finance initiative for new hospitals and the introduction of practice based commissioning.

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Article Information

Title: Crisis blamed on reforms
Author: Sue Knights
Article Id: 497
Date Added: 5th Jul 2006

Sources

British Medical Journal

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