800 GPs to be called up if war is declared
Up to 800 GPs could be called up in the event of a war on Iraq, the BMA has warned.
Ministers have told the association at least half of these reservists would be flown to the Gulf if war was declared.
All reservists are members of the Territorial Army. Only those GPs on the reserve list would be called up. Regular GPs based near barracks will be expected to look after soldiers' families at UK bases.
Casualties will receive treatment in the Gulf and then be flown back to be cared for by the NHS.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health has issued a reminder to primary care trusts about the arrangements they need to make to cover GPs who are called up.
The reminder cites regulation 25 of the National Health Service GMS Regulations 1992 which requires PCTs
to commission alternative provision of GMS services for
patients if their GP is called up.
Regulations make similar provision for patients registered with a PMS practice the practice can either employ a locum, provide cover internally by transferring patients to another GP or use a salaried GP employed by the PCT.