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BMA launches dossier against privatisation

By Gareth Iacobucci

GPs are being asked to help compile a dossier of evidence on privatisation's damaging impact on primary care as the BMA launches the next phase of its campaign against Government reforms.

The association has decided to draw on the experiences of front line GPs as the next phase to its campaign, which began last year with a 1.2 million signature petition from the public.

The call comes as latest figures show almost a quarter of Darzi centres and practices in under-doctored areas have gone to private firms.

A BMA spokesman said the campaign, which is being fleshed out at the BMA's council meeting this week, will be seeking to unearth examples of ‘the negative effect of NHS reform'.

‘The focus is going to be about generating debate among the profession and gathering data from grassroots GPs and consultants,' he said.

‘It's about getting information from doctors themselves, their personal experiences of NHS reform and how commercialisation has impacted upon them.'

Dr Louise Irvine, a GP in Lewisham, South East London, who recently organised an anti-private sector meeting for GPs and patients in her surgery, backed the BMA's plans. ‘I'm pleased the BMA are doing something. It's about time.'

Dr Irvine said her practice had been affected by the Government's reforms to such an extent that it was bidding for a new GP-led health centre purely to fend off the threat from commercial providers.

‘It's very costly, but we think we're defending the NHS. We feel we have to do this in order to prevent the commercial sector taking over.'

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