Tuesday, 6 May 2008
How Cameron is abandoning patients for doctors' cheers
While brave Beverley Hughes eschews cheap cheers from rowdy headteachers, cowardly Andrew Lansley - David Cameron's shadow health secretary for life - is rolling over to have his tummy tickled by shameless GPs and their trade union, the BMA. As an interview in last week's Pulse revealed, Lansley is planning to scrap polyclinics and allow GPs to return to opening when it suits them rather than for the convenience of their patients. He will abandon a Labour target that half of surgeries should open longer hours (the Tories are also committed to longer waiting times for hospital appointments). Yet, as consultation in London has revealed, over half of people consulted in the capital want polyclinics and three-quarters favour evening and weekend opening. The fact that the Tories are able to get away which such anti-patient policies shows just how little scrutiny they now get from a media that would roast Labour alive if it aligned itself so closely with a powerful trade union. The fact that they can advocate such policies shows how far removed they are from the true interests of people who work and pay their taxes to fund GPs' salaries.