Call for NHS market to be abandoned debated by GPs

Doctors are to debate a call for the NHS to 'abandon the wasteful costs of duplication, bureaucracy and competition inherent in an NHS market' at a conference which begins on Monday.

Dr Meldrum: ensure that patients get the services they need
Dr Meldrum: ensure that patients get the services they need

The debate will be part of the BMA’s four-day Annual Representatives Meeting in Brighton.

On Saturday the BMA, Unison, NHS Support Federation, NHS Consultants Association and Keep Our NHS Public published a statement saying the NHS would become both more cost-effective and equitable if it were operated on its founding principle of co-operation rather than competition.

The statement calls for:

  • New mechanisms to allocate NHS funding more equitably and efficiently. For example it suggests funding allocated on the basis of population need rather than activity by trusts,
  • Abandoning the purchaser-provider split in the NHS to generate substantial savings, and,
  • A new vision for what choice means. It argues that unfettered patient choice is not what most patients want.

Dr Hamish Meldrum, BMA chairman, said: ‘At a time of real economic challenge to the NHS, our proposals will maximise the effective use of scarce resources and help to ensure that patients get the services they need. We urge the coalition government to be true to its word and listen to the views of front-line professionals.’

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