BMA Scotland calls for block on private firms running GP practices

The BMA has called on the Scottish Parliament's health committee to back plans that will ensure commercial companies cannot gain a foothold in the country's NHS.

The Scottish government is planning to amend the NHS (Scotland) Act 1978 to remove the clause that has allowed private providers to offer GP services in England.

The Scottish GPC’s chairman Dr Dean Marshall told the health committee that private providers ‘usually have a responsibility to their shareholders to make a profit whereas the NHS GP has the care of patients at the heart of their decision making’.

Any move towards private provision would be particularly damaging in rural areas where services are less profitable, he said.

‘GPs in England have seen the negative impact of the commercialisation agenda,’ he added. ‘We don't want to see Scotland go the same way.’

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