BMA Annual Representatives' Meeting: 'Bar private companies from running polyclinics'

Polyclinics should not be owned or run by private companies, said doctors at the BMA’s ARM.

GP Dr George Rae told the conference in Edinburgh yesterday that the clinics were being ‘imposed' across the country.

And he said that contracts for polyclinics were likely to be ‘for profit multi-national companies'.
‘Why?  Because as far as individual GPs and practices are concerned, the playing field is not level,' said Dr Rae.

He added that the playing field was ‘about as level as Mount Everest'.

Doctors were against the central imposition of polyclinics in every locality regardless of local need.

They also voted that the clinics would undermine hospital services and the continuing care offered by GPs.  

Dr Paddy Glackin, London GP, said that collaborating practices would be better than polyclinics.

He said this happened on the Isle of Dogs where practices work together and share services.

Dr Glackin added that such arrangements might be what health minister Ben Bradshaw referred to when he accused doctors of operating ‘gentlemen's agreements' not to poach each other's patients.

‘Things are at a sorry pass when you have to explain to a Labour minister the nature of solidarity and collaboration,' he said.

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