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Tuesday 22nd May 2018

GPs oppose retail surgeries

30th June 2006

Supermarkets must not be allowed to set up walk-in clinics on their premises, because a GP's advice to patients would be undermined by the cigarettes, alcohol and junk food on sale, doctors said yesterday.

Although the Department of Health says the government has not specifically proposed supermarkets as locations for GP surgeries, it wants to extend access to primary healthcare in areas where GPs have not traditionally wanted to set up.

Asda and Tesco offer free blood-pressure tests and many supermarkets have in-store pharmacies. Sainsbury's, which has 161 in-store pharmacies, has been in talks with the government about opening the first supermarket GP surgery.

But members of the British Medical Association made clear their opposition at the BMA's annual representative meeting in Belfast yesterday.

Doctors said the notion that nicotine and alcohol may be sold where primary care services are would be ‘inconceivable, unacceptable and immoral’.

The ARM also demanded a ban on the advertising of unhealthy food and drink to children and proposed the current ‘traffic light’ labeling system to indicate the nutrient content of food to be made mandatory.


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