Letters: Privatisation will not work for primary care

Like many GPs I was fascinated to read that private companies such as Virgin are pulling out of bidding for primary care activity (GP, 26 September).

This demonstrates the fragility of their plans and that they are in no way a sound mechanism for delivering primary care activity to potentially millions of patients.

Gordon Brown is criticising banks for putting aspects of their business off balance sheet while he is doing precisely that with primary care. Encouraging private providers to come into primary care means that government spending is hidden.

Instead of the government spending money Virgin, for example, would borrow, then spend the money and it does not appear as a government spend.

Are we, for example, going to see Darzi clinics set up only to pull out when the going gets a bit tough? If there is to be investment into primary care, let's see it directed to the people who know what they are doing and are in it for the long term - GPs.

Dr Lisa Silver, Oxfordshire.

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