GPC leader lambasts DoH 'dishonesty'

LMCs conference 2008 Buckman lambasts the DoH, concerns over vascular screens and IT confidentiality.

In a maiden address as chairman of the GPC, Dr Laurence Buckman galvanised colleagues at the opening of the 2008 conference of LMCs.

Focusing throughout on the government as the current enemy of general practice, he protested against the 'assault on GPs'.

He reminded colleagues that they had delivered on their side of the deal with government; on enhanced services and the quality framework.

But he minced no words in identifying the government's own dishonesty and broken promises to GPs on MPIG, premises, enhanced services and equitable PMS returns.

He accused the government of applying force. 'You can be hung or shot' was the choice the government offered the profession on extended hours, he said.

He also rounded on the government for commercialising the health service by stealth.

'I do not think the public voted for a commercial health service,' he warned.

Dr Buckman called on ministers to invest in GP premises, and reserved his fiercest ire for polyclinics, now being forced upon London and soon to spread to the rest of England.

He reminded GPs that the King's Fund recently reported that there was very little evidence for these new structures.

'No doubt it will be ignored by the government which will continue along its evidence-free path,' he said.

The delegates gave him not one but two standing ovations, the second one lasting for one and a half minutes.

A triumph of a start for a leader who only got the job by default.

prisca.middlemiss@haymarket.com.

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