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Don't botch it over time pressures

Dr Jamie MacHugh believes the contract ballot should be delayed to end the NHS's long tradition of pushing through 'half-hearted' solutions because of time pressures.

Dr MacHugh, a GP in Pitlochry, Perthshire, said he was not convinced by negotiators' arguments they had to meet the June 23 legislative deadline.

Interim measures could be used to introduce the contract in Scotland in April 2004 if the legislative window was missed, he added.

'If we vote on a bad deal and push it through quickly we will end up with more trouble,' said Dr MacHugh. 'The health service is always run on pushing for time targets ­ then you end up with half-hearted attempts that do not work.'

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