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Doctors' leaders oppose NHS shake-up

25th November 2011

The British Medical Association has declared all-out opposition to the Government’s NHS shake-up.

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It fears the changes look set to give too much influence to the private sector.

The BMA Council passed a motion expressing its “opposition to the whole Health and Social Care Bill” and calling for a public campaign of opposition.

It marks intensification in the BMA’s fight with the government over the legislation and follows recent concerns about draft guidance about commissioning which contained “commercially-focussed criteria.”

The BMA, which had previously said it would support the legislation with major revisions, wants urgent talks with Health Secretary Andrew Lansley and is now considering its next move.

Dr Hamish Meldrum, chairman of the BMA Council, said: “A key plank of the Government’s NHS reforms was to entrust GPs and other healthcare professionals to lead on the commissioning of services for patients to ensure local health needs were met.

“These latest proposals from the Government have the potential to seriously undermine this role, restricting the freedom and independence that clinically-led commissioning groups need to make locally sensitive, locally accountable, patient-focused decisions.”

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham welcomed the BMA decision, describing it as a “huge lift for the campaign to the get the Tory-led Government to drop its Health and Social Care Bill and a clear reflection of the majority feeling across the NHS.”

Mr Burnham added: “Their decision to launch a campaign is conclusive proof that the Government has abjectly failed to build professional consensus behind its reckless reorganisation.”

 

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