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According to an article in the BMJ, freedoms created under the new Bill will enable investor-run commissioners and providers to: • Invest in and form companies • Use commercial contracts to bring in commercial providers • Define the range of services to be provided and patient entitlements under the NHS • Charge for some elements that are currently NHS services and for health services they determine are no longer covered by the NHS • Generate and distribute surpluses to shareholders, investors, and employees by underspending the patient care budget • Use competition law to challenge public policies that impair their profitability and freedom to operate • Contract out all NHS services to a range of private providers • Select patients and services • Determine staff terms and conditions I quote from the GP Magazine: Latest DoH figures show that NHS waiting times are up, with more patients waiting over 18 weeks for treatment. And GPs are under pressure to reduce NHS referrals to secondary care in order that NHS efficiency savings of £20bn can be met by 2015. GP leaders have warned that this could lead to under-referral, delayed diagnosis and poorer health outcomes. In this scenario, it is not surprising that patients are increasingly opting for private treatment, instead of going through the NHS. By choosing to go private, they can skip NHS waiting lists, be treated by a consultant of their choice and decide for themselves where and when they want to be treated. In addition, patients may choose to go private for treatments that they may not be eligible for on the NHS, such as some weight loss treatments and fertility services. Will amendments to the Bill be sufficiently adequate to allay anxieties of doctors and patients alike?
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I am a GP in one of Britain's top 10% most deprived areas. It's 99% home-grown white with many hard-working people, and I have looked after most for 25 years. With respect to healthcare, their growing resentment centres on their concerns about the dilution of resources available to treat them in the face of a rising tide of new entrants, NHS waste and mismanagement aside. There are sensible and ethical processes for discouraging exploitation and abuse of the NHS, just as there are ways of making the NHS more responsive and accountable. However, the bureaucratic barriers and the flawed policies that engender them are challenges that require careful manoeuvring. As chairman of the largest GP commissioning group in the East Midlands, I hope to work with a few key agencies and make a start in the right direction. As a Conservative, I would not wait for a change of Government, and finally as a committed professional I cannot countenance further attrition of the high quality of medicine and compassionate care that I qualified into.
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David C just gets better by the day - way ahead with the doctors' march in London; it was simply an unforgettable coup. Unless you're Pat H or Tony B!
Toggle Commented Mar 21, 2007 on Wow! at ConservativeHome's ToryDiary
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