Delegates at the Annual Representatives' Meeting in Cardiff supported unanimously a motion that refuted the government-held view that 'the pragmatic decision of GPs to engage in commissioning is an endorsement of the Health and Social Care Bill’.
The motion, presented on behalf of the North East regional committee by Dr George Rae, believed that BMA policy leaves the government in no doubt about the strength of feeling in the profession regarding many aspects of the Health and Social Care Bill.
‘A lot has been made of GPs supposedly supporting the Bill,’ Dr Rae said.
‘Any politician who was deluded enough to believe that GP commissioning is an endorsement of the Health Bill should have been at the annual GP conference,’ Dr Rae said.
Dr Rae said that GPs had clearly expressed at the LMC conference their view that ‘the health proposals will compromise the health of the nation in England and endanger patients’.
‘The meeting reaffirmed its opposition to what it felt was a privatisation of the National Health Service.’
Speaking in favour of the motion, south London GP Dr Penelope Jarrett said that the majority of GPs in her area had become involved in commissioning not because they wanted to but because they wanted to stop the local health service from collapsing.
‘We have lost 54% of PCT staff,’ Dr Jarrett said.
‘We had consortia elections recently and 40% of GPs didn’t vote.’
Chairman of the BMA, Dr Hamish Meldrum said: ‘I will be appealing before the Bill committee this afternoon.’
If it is passed, I can use this motion to support our views, Dr Meldrum said.