UK Govt. has put GPs in an impossible position, says BMA

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The British Medical Association – BMA’s GP Committee (GPC) met last week to discuss the two options the UK government has given GPs regarding changes to their contract and passed the following resolution:

“The GPC has come to the conclusion that Option A1 is less damaging for general practice, because the alternative option will harm the underlying fabric of NHS general practice and patient care more quickly and more lastingly.”

Commenting on the resolution, Dr Laurence Buckman, Chairman of the BMA’s GPs Committee said:

“GPs have been put in an impossible position and will have to choose between two unacceptable alternatives. We have been asked which of these two is less bad and we have responded to GP demand that we do that. We are not recommending any course of action and GPs are free to come to their own decision on how to vote. This is neither a climb down nor a U turn but a recognition that between two bad alternatives, one is worse than the other.

“The two deals on the table from the government haven’t been negotiated, they are inflexible and do not take into account the differing needs of populations around the UK. It’s this method of ?negotiation’ that has angered GPs and it’s why we felt we couldn’t accept anything without first consulting the profession. We have been studying the detail of the two impositions and have provided GPs with our analysis. We still have huge concerns that patients will get neither a meaningful service in extended hours nor will the quality be of a level they deserve.

“We believe the impositions as they stand will be unsafe for doctors as they will have to work on their own late at night. Patients also won’t get the full range of services. GPs are willing to do extended hours, we put forward our own proposal in December ? we just don’t think the government’s plans as they stand at the moment will be good for general practice or patient care.”

The BMA’s GP Committee will be polling the entire profession in mid-February.

Source: British Medical Association, UK

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