Thursday 17 September 2009

How the BMA wants to prevent prevention

Andy Burnham, the health secretary, has provided further evidence of life in the Labour government today with a sharp reformist speech on the NHS. His headline plan to allow patients to register with whichever GP they wish is a good one, not least for commuters who otherwise have to give up half a day to see a doctor.

The BMA's spokesman Dr Laurence Buckman generously is not opposing the idea outright - after all their lead parliamentary spokesman claims the idea as his own - but has helpfully presented lots of difficulties, as the BBC reported.
"What will happen to their practice if they're destabilised, because some of the younger, healthier patients have gone elsewhere?" [he said] The union says that a mix of patients, some of them not visiting their doctor often, helps general practice to be cost-effective. It warns that if younger people register near their workplaces, some practices could be left with patient lists mainly composed of those with long-term conditions and complex illness.
In other words, we are being paid to have lots of people on our books who can never see us because it is too inconvenient for them to do so. We must stop them from seeing doctors near where they work even if it prevents them getting more serious illnesses, so that we can continue doing things the way we always have done, with our generous new contract.

Andy Burnham must make sure this plan is in place ahead of the next election - in the interests of the health of all those people who work and pay taxes to cover GPs' salaries

1 comment:

Richard T said...

The miserable cynic in me asks whether this is actually designed to justify the NHS records system.