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BMA candidates to confront unrest

The candidates for the position of BMA chair began their campaign last week facing tough questions about the future of the organisation.

Two candidates have so far confirmed they will stand: Dr Sam Everington, currently deputy chair and a GP in east London, and Dr Hamish Meldrum, GPC chair and a GP in Bridlington, East Yorkshire.

Both remained tight-lipped about their plans for the BMA this week, but one of their first challenges will be to restore confidence in the under-fire organisation.

Dr Everington was number two to outgoing chair Mr James Johnson, forced to resign over the MTAS furore, while the GPC has received its share of criticism after GPs saw their pay frozen two years running.

A series of motions submitted to this year's LMC conference attacked the GPC leadership, with one motion from West Pennine LMC outlining 'serious concerns' about the effectiveness of the GPC.

'The failure to endorse a profession-wide boycott of Choose and Book in response to Government policy threatens to effectively emasculate LMC and GPC credibility as local and national institutions,' it said.

Dr Meldrum said he accepted some GPs were 'not entirely happy' with the way negotiations had gone, but rejected the idea that having full-time negotiators would lead to an improvement.

'If I didn't do any clinical practice and was doing this full-time, then I would be accused of being out of touch,' he said.

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