Scotland bars firms from running practices

Scotland's first minister, Alex Salmond, has announced new legislation to prevent private companies providing GP services in the country.

Addressing parliament for the first time since the summer break, Mr Salmond set out his plans for the coming year.

He spoke of a new health bill, which will close the legal loophole that could allow private providers to provide GP services in Scotland.

The new bill would ‘help ensure that the future of GP services in Scotland remains within the NHS family and firmly rooted in the traditions of general practice,’ he said.

BMA Scotland welcomed the announcement, which it says shows a commitment to NHS general practice.

Mr Salmond’s stance is supported by Wales’ and Northern Ireland’s health ministers. Earlier this year they distanced themselves from the introduction of the private sector in England in a signed commitment to family doctors.

Editor's blog: Should we all up sticks and move to Scotland?

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