Private firms barred from running GP surgeries

The Scottish health minister received a standing ovation at ARM when she announced a loophole that allows private providers to run GP services would be closed.

Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon, secretary of health and wellbeing, said there was no appetite in Scotland for commercialisation of general practice.

However, she said that the law inherited by the SNP party when it came to power allowed private firms to get involved.

‘It does mean that commercialisation is a legal possibility and I can confirm that the Scottish government will legislate to close that loophole.

‘The Scottish government is very firmly committed to an NHS that’s rooted in the public sector and we want to make it very clear the importance of primary care services being delivered from within the NHS family,’ said Ms Sturgeon at the BMA’s ARM in Edinburgh yesterday.

She acknowledged that this was a different approach to England’s.

‘It’s not for me to tell other parts of the UK how to organise their health services but I believe our model, the Scottish model, is the best way of meeting our health care needs,’ she said.

Blog: Health secretary earns standing ovation from doctors (but it's not Alan Johnson)

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