Dr Hamish Meldrum told the BMA's annual representative meeting, which began in Liverpool today, that ministers should not shy away from u-turns on policies that had failed.
He called on the NHS to ditch costly management consultants, drop the use of private finance initiative (PFI) funding, and end the 'ludicrous, divisive, expensive experiment of the market in healthcare in England'.
He added that NHS leaders should not listen to 'siren voices' calling for a shift to social insurance-based funding for UK healthcare.
'It would seem particularly perverse that, just as it appears that President Obama wants to move away from that discredited system, some in the UK should be arguing that we move further in that direction,' Dr Meldrum told the conference.
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