New practices needed to tackle inequalities, says Johnson

New GP practices in under doctored areas are needed ‘to break the pernicious link between wealth and health’, health secretary Alan Johnson has said.

Mr Johnson told the Labour conference this morning that tackling health inequalities was one of the government’s key priorities for the future of the NHS.

That ‘means ensuring that those areas with the greatest health needs, no longer have the fewest GPs,’ he said. ‘This is one of the reasons we’re introducing so many new GP surgeries right across the country.’

Mr Johnson also criticised the Conservatives for their opposition to extra practices and extended hours.

‘They are impervious to the need for quicker more convenient treatment,’ he said. ‘They probably think a GP queue is a new upmarket men’s magazine that David Cameron should be doing an interview with.’

Tackling health inequalities was one of five priorities laid out in the speech.

The others were improving adult social care; greater power for patients; more emphasis on prevention; and driving down infection rates.

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