Alan Johnson took part in a live web chat last week in which he responded to a question posted by GP about whether GPs would be incentivised for providing extra stroke services, such as prescribing statins and smoking cessation.
Mr Johnson replied: 'The answer is "yes", GPs will be incentivised to concentrate on prevention and early diagnosis.
'The introduction of the quality framework dimension of GP pay in 2006 has had a real, beneficial effect because for the first time GPs are incentivised and rewarded for these preventive measures.
'This is a crucial part of the stroke strategy but also essential to so many other illnesses and in our objective of ensuring that we do not have a national sickness service but a genuine health service where prevention is as important as cure.'
However, a DoH spokesman said: 'There are already plenty of inclusions in the quality framework for a wide range of vascular interventions, including stroke.'
Currently, GPs can score up to five quality points for lowering cholesterol to 5mmol/l in patients who have had a stroke or TIA.
But in the stroke strategy, the DoH says that up to 20,000 strokes in England could be prevented if statins were given to people with a 20 per cent or greater risk of a cardiovascular event in 10 years.
Surrey GP Dr John Pittard, a member of the Primary Care Cardiovascular Society, said: 'At the moment the quality framework does not mention giving statins to stroke patients.
'There is no real excuse for not putting patients who have suffered a stroke or TIA on statins.'
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