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Thursday 27th October 2016

Major NHS changes needed

9th May 2007

The British Medical Association (BMA) have proposed far-reaching changes to the way the NHS is managed in England.


The BMA proposals are included in a report detailing a vision of the future for the health service. The report will be discussed at the BMA's annual conference, held in July.

The proposals say the NHS should only offer essential services due to limited resources. The BMA argue that the recognition of a list of essential services would ensure the NHS could provide a fair system.

James Johnson, BMA chairman, said: "The NHS should provide a comprehensive range of services, available to all on an equal footing."

"If we are going to retain an equitable, universal approach within limited resources then priority setting is inevitable."

In addition, the BMA called for the NHS to be administered by an independent board, which would remove everyday management of the service from the hands of the government.

The government has rebuffed the idea of limiting NHS services. The proposal for an independent board is not endorsed by Prime Minister Tony Blair or, it is thought, by Gordon Brown.

Other key proposals include limiting private sector involvement and establishing a written constitution for the NHS. The constitution would, say the BMA, act as a "written agreement between the government, the NHS and the public."

Andy Burnham, Health Minister, commented on the idea of core services: "We resist any call to make the NHS a slimmed-down, emergency service, because that's what it would become if we started rationing care."

"The NHS should continue to be comprehensive and universal."

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