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Independents' Day

Doctors back BMA anti-commercialisation campaign

By Steve Nowottny

The BMA's campaign against the commercialisation of the NHS has the backing of three quarters of the profession, according to a poll published today.

A survey of 124 doctors by BMA News found widespread concern about the impact of the independent sector on healthcare, with 94 percent saying they were worried about the future of their local health services if they were left to market forces.

Three quarters said they backed the BMA's eight principles for a publicly funded and publicly provided NHS, outlined in the association's ‘Look After Our NHS' campaign launched earlier this month.

And 86% said they did not think it was a good idea for commercial companies to provide NHS services.

Dr Mark McCartney, a GP in Pensilva, Cornwall, said: ‘The introduction of choice and competition has increased the cost of delivering healthcare and destabilised existing providers before the private sector can become properly established.'

Commercialisation of the NHS and the BMA's campaign will be high on the agenda at next week's Annual Representatives' Meeting in Liverpool.

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