Tuesday, 15 March 2011

'Patient Care' vs 'GP Greed' - the real battle within the BMA

Doctors have today called upon the government to put a halt to its overhaul of the NHS in England, but stopped short of opposing the plans outright [nb due to GP greed]!

An emergency meeting of the British Medical Association - the first of its kind for nearly 20 years - urged ministers to withdraw the health bill so the plans could be looked at again -  plans the union did describe as "dangerous and risky".

The emergency meeting was called by the BMA leadership after concerns from its grassroots membership about the plans. The motion voted in favour of by delegates says withdrawing the health bill is needed so that the controversial and more radical elements of the legislation can be considered again. But a motion calling for outright opposition of the plans was narrowly rejected [nb a key moment, and again the result of greedy GP's].

This emergency meeting was called because those members want the BMA to go further and harden its stance following discussions by the leadership on Wednesday. The result could force union's leaders taking a tougher line with government.

However the 'government' - and in particular No. 10 - is 'fully committed' to the plans [even though the Liberal Democrat party - who are part of this coalition government - rejected the plans themselves only two days ago]! The bill is already well on its way through parliament [nb a bill created without a mandate from anyone and which is being forced though by No. 10] and pilots are starting across the country [nb they had no problem bribing a few greedy GP's to try it].

BMA leader Dr Hamish Meldrum said he would rather see the NHS as the preferred provider instead of having a level playing field with the big health companies, and said "We want to put more pressure on the government to change what are flawed and very risky proposals for the NHS" [nb he has deliberately avoided referring to the fundamental conflicts of interests, and GP profiteering, that these current plans create].

More than 300 doctors attended the meeting with many supporting Dr Meldrum's stance. Dr Layla Jader, a public health physician, said: "The NHS needs evolution not revolution - these reforms are very threatening to the future of the NHS. If they go through, our children will look back and say how could you allow this to happen?" [Well said - I couldn't have put in better myself].

Members voted not to support a "damaging and unjustified" shake-up, which will see GPs get control of much of the NHS budget along with the scrapping of primary care trusts and strategic health authorities.

A Department of Health spokesman said: "We are disappointed the BMA has decided to take this step rather than work constructively with us to improve services for patients. The reality is over 5,000 GP practices, covering two-thirds of the country, have already signed up and have started to implement plans to give patients better care" [nb those not voluntarily signing up are being forced to as no alternative is being given].

What they fail to highlight is the moral battle going on in the BMA, where on the one hand there are greedy GP's who see a fantastic opportunity to profiteer  [and who do not want the BMA to intervene] ... and on the other there are all the trustworthy and honorable doctors who are strongly against the plans due to the clear/fundamental conflicts of interest they create [but who have until now had little/no support, as the BMA has till now tried to play a 'passive role' in order to support the greedy GP's).

By 'bribing' greedy GP's, this Government is trying to push through it plans and it has effectively split the BMA [a clear 'divide and conquer' strategy]. But will it work ... IMHO I unfortunately think it will ... though I obviously hope it does not!

This Government is trying every trick in the book and if they do succeed, they will, without any mandate from the people, dismantle the NHS and destroy the trust a patient should have in their GP in the process.