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GPs clash in strike-off row over asylum seekers

A bitter row has erupted between GPs over allegations that practices have struck

patients off their lists at random to make room for asylum seekers.

The row erupted after a PCT criticised an LMC chair in an open letter to a local newspaper. South Stoke PCT accused North Staffordshire LMC chair Dr Paul Golik of 'generating unnecessary concern'.

Dr Golik spoke to the Mail on Sunday when the paper

accused Dr Uday Pathak, a singlehanded GP in Stoke,

of removing an 88-year-old woman from his list to make room for eight asylum seekers and a number of patients in nursing homes.

Chief executive of South Stoke PCT, Tony McGovern, and clinical governance chair GP Dr Prasad Rao said Dr

Golik had 'conveyed the impression that in general GPs are acting in a random way to deregister patients at will'.

The letter continued: 'Perhaps Dr Golik might consider using his position to advise and support GP colleagues.'

Dr Golik accused the trust of failing to follow its own instructions to the LMC to double-check the facts of a case before speaking to the press.

'I'm slightly aggrieved,' he said. 'They've not spoken to me about it. I've had to send an e-mail to colleagues saying I tried to divert the issue away from asylum seekers to the shortage of GPs.'

Dr Golik said that GPs in the region were 'overworked, stressed and desperate' because of a severe doctor shortage and this was why practices had to remove patients to make way for asylum seekers.

A local scheme that paid GPs £50 each time they registered an asylum seeker was stopped when the health authority dissolved into the PCT.

The daughter of Lydia Perry, the pensioner at the centre of the story, wrote to the Mail on Sunday praising the treatment she received from Dr Pathak.

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