Doctors still fear coalition health reforms


While Conservatives cannot decide whether to bully, belittle or plea for credit for listening to health workers it appears as if the reformed health reforms has still not earned favour with the professionals who will actually have to deliver it.

David-Cameron-hospitalThe BMA worry that with GPs put in charge of budgets, and effectively incentivised to lower costs as much as possible, patients may not believe that it is their interest that is being put first in healthcare decisions – risking a catastrophic breach of trust.

The Times (£) reports BMA council chairman Hamish Meldrum’s criticism of the reforms in his opening speech to the organisations’s annual conference, which begins today in Cardiff.

Ahead of the meeting he said:

 “I think that if patients are suspecting that GPs might be rewarded for how well they do financially, there is the suggestion that ‘you might not be referring me, investigating me, prescribing to me because that might be money in your pocket’. That is seriously damaging to trust.”

Meanwhile, the British Medical Journal calls for ministers to “bury the bill“, echoing Left Foot Forward’s fears that the NHS will be trapped by the web of bureaucracy proposed by the reformed health reforms. 

In the article, Dr Tony Delamothe and Dr Fiona Godlee, said that the bill as it currrently stands would leave the NHS “with a similar proportion of bureaucrats to the Austro-Hungarian empire on the eve of the First World War - and about as flat footed”.

They also make the rather small-c conservative point that the reforms “look like (a highly complex) solution in search of a problem”, and that: 

“Only a handful of companies in the world exceed the £100bn turnover of the English NHS; none would have embarked on change in this harebrained fashion. This is the take home message for the next government that spots a once in a generation opportunity to reform the NHS.”

If only there was some Conservative out there who thought that it was time to end pointless reorganisations of the NHS.

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