Family Doctor Association backs polyclinics

A group of GPs who spent a weekend touring a polyclinic in Germany were 'pleasantly surprised' by its findings, says the Family Doctor Association (FDA).

Dr Michael Taylor, FDA chairman, said that the nine doctors who visited Polikum Freidenau in Berlin were ‘impressed at what it is trying to do. With the right safeguards, polyclinics could be a useful addition to what we have here', he added.

Be he warned that: ‘If done wrong, it could be a disaster'.

The FDA found that GP services would benefit from being co-located with pharmacies and diagnostic services.

But it argued that polyclinics should not be a replacement for existing practices, and that patient's should keep their relationship with a named GP. ‘The doctors in Berlin are finding that patients are saying, ‘I want to see my doctor',' said Dr Taylor.

Without a registered list, they were also finding it hard to limit their costs, he added.

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