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Government deluged by IT cash bids

Almost all strategic health authorities have lodged bids with the Government for extra IT cash to pay for maintenance and minor upgrades to GPs' computer systems.

The deluge of applications comes after the Department of Health released only £20 million for the work last November and told PCOs to apply to their health authority if they needed more.

GPs and PCOs estimated the cost of the work would be nearer to £60 million.

The department said the bids were being reviewed, but refused to reveal how much more money would be released.

Dr Paul Cundy, chair of the GPC's IT sub-committee, said it was essential the bids were accepted and more money was given to PCOs to pay for the upgrades.

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