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Don't let the BMA bury criticisms of the new contract

In these crucial times for general practice the agenda committee of the BMA's annual representatives meeting has seen fit to allocate just 20 minutes to general practice, starting at the dead hour of 5pm on the Tuesday of the conference.

Far worse, it appears to have adopted the New Labour custom of attempting to bury bad news.

The committee allows five motions on 'clinical assistants' and two on 'goodwill', then blandly states that other motions 'are unlikely to be reached'.

Among those other motions is the not unimportant one from Buckinghamshire which 'believes that as the new GP contract has failed to meet the majority of its objectives it should be redrafted'.

The agenda committee in its wisdom has, therefore, seen fit to stifle debate on the new contract, giving preference to what are, in the scheme of things, two relatively minor subjects.

It has to be said the GPC chair will have an opportunity to present his report and that he is unlikely to be critical of either his committee or the contract, so the ARM will hear only one side of the argument. Three actions should be taken to remedy this iniquity:

lPlace the general practice section earlier in the day

lLengthen the time allowed for it

lMake the Buckinghamshire motion a priority motion.

Dr David Roberts

BMA Council Member

Broughton

Kettering

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