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Thursday, 4 March 2010

More "choice" in the NHS

From: David Hickson – campaigner for the NHS

Today Andy Burnham has announced a consultation about ensuring that “patients have a wider and more meaningful choice of GP practice."

The news release is found here – “Choosing the best GP for you

I comment:

<< I am concerned that this may involve allowing GPs to charge for NHS services, e.g. visiting patients at home outside a certain area.

This open market concept also fits in neatly with what the supporters of fancy telephone systems paid for by premium charges levied on patients want to see.

They (including the General Practitioner’s Committee of the BMA, quoted here) propose that patients should pay for NHS services according to the quality of the service provided – a free market provides an ideal opportunity for this to happen, with the excuse that those who do not wish to pay more could choose a lower quality of service.

If patients have a clear open choice about which GP they choose this can be used to justify all manner of breaches of the principles of the NHS.

Patients’ needs and preferences must be taking into account in the way that NHS services are provided – that is not necessarily best achieved through a market.


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