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A faulty production line

Cameron says thousands of GP surgeries face closure

By Ian Quinn

Conservative leader David Cameron today accused the Government of threatening to kill off local GP practices in the same way it is Post Offices.

The Tories claimed that plans for the rollout of polyclinics would lead to the closure of more than 1,000 surgeries in London and hundreds more outside the capital.

In a speech during a King's Fund debate on the future of general practice, Mr Cameron pledged that his party would fight against the Government's proposals.

He said: ‘The Government has already tried to bring about the end of the district general hospital. Now ministers are trying to abolish the family doctor service.

‘Labour's plans for a national network of polyclinics will see a thousand GP surgeries close in London alone – that's three-quarters of the total. Another 600 surgeries will close across the country.

Communities which have lost their Post Office, their local shops and their local police station, are now going to lose their doctor.'

Shadow Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, added: ‘The Government is pushing ahead with forcing polyclinics in areas where they may not be needed. We are not against the idea of polyclinics in some places, but not at the expense of the local family doctor and patient care.

‘Continuity of care for patients is at risk if their local family doctor is closed and moved to a polyclinic. Patients will have further to travel and will be lucky to see the same GP twice. The current relationship between GP and patient is one built on respect and trust, for the Government to wilfully destroy that is unforgivable.'

David Cameron: warned thousands of surgeries will close to pave way for polyclinics David Cameron: warned thousands of surgeries will close to pave way for polyclinics

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