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BMA must take long-term view

The BMA has been very shortsighted in its assessment of the Government's planned contract imposition.

Its advice that the deal on the table is the lesser of two evils does not take into account what will happen in future.

In accepting the proposals, GPs are agreeing to discard the two cardinal features of the contract voted for in 2003. The first of these was a limited set of working hours in weekdays for which we sacrificed some income. The second was the introduction of the QOF, which was to reimburse specific areas of work with evidence-based benefit.

The proposed new contract terms drive a coach and horses through both these features.

The BMA suggested that the option of mounting a legal challenge to imposition would be examined. There has been a deafening silence since then. Does that mean the BMA thinks there is no legal defence? I raised the issue of the 13-week consultation period for imposed change with the GPC at the time of the new contract negotiation. No particular note was made of this then.

What do the previous GPC negotiators Dr John Chisholm and Dr Simon Fradd say about this? Where are they now?

Dr Paul Meadows, Bristol

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