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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Why GPs should vote Labour

Dr Onkar Sahota argues patient care should be put before profit

Over the past five years our ability to provide the care that patients deserve has been undermined. GPs are at the sharp end of the top down NHS re-organisation by the Coalition Government, which has diverted £3bn away from front-line services and resulted in the largest upheaval in general practice since the NHS was created.

GPs have been pulled from seeing patients to sitting in meetings, placing more responsibility and pressure on an already overworked system. Patient trust and doctor-patient relationships have been eroded. This has made it more difficult for patients to see us and made it harder to work as a GP.

In order to tackle the ageing population and increase in chronic disease we need to make health promotion and illness prevention part of everyday general practice. Only Labour has a plan for a better future for our patients and healthcare professionals.

Andy Burnham has laid out a 10-year plan to integrate public health, social services, community services, primary care and hospitals around ‘whole-person care’. This can be done without any further major re-organisation.

A Labour government would replace expensive competition with co-operation, put patient care before profit and reinstate the Secretary of State for Health’s accountability for the NHS.
Labour is committed to improving the infrastructure of general practice by investing in premises and services throughout the community.

We need to make the profession more attractive and satisfying. GPs need a good work-life balance and this is why Labour is committed to 8,000 more GPs, 20,000 more nurses and 5,000 community health workers. This would also help give us the time to care for the patients. There is a better plan for the NHS, a better future for GPs, and it is the Labour plan.

Dr Onkar Sahota is a Labour member of the Greater London Assembly for Ealing and Hillingdon, as well as a practising GP in west London

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Readers' comments (18)

  • Vinci Ho

    It is relatively 'easier' to play opposition in certain circumstances . As George Orwell said ,'We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.'
    Hence , unless you are an idiot , you should be able to say the 'correct' things to voters.But,always a but:
    Do you guys really have the vision and know what to do if you really win this game of thrones???
    Track record said something ....

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  • And Labour's track record on the NHS is appalling. PFI bankrupting hospitals, bullying and silencing whistleblowers whose own MP's even wrote to Labour health ministers but were spinelessly and callously ignored. Labour ministers who were responsible and ignored repeated warnings, for example, Andy Burnham, should be in prison for corporate manslaughter.

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  • This comment has been moderated.

  • Difficult to see how bankrupting the country, again, helps patients.

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  • It's a shame he's learnt nothing since his student days.

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  • Why do people on this website always ask for more GP's???? Surely the less of us there are, the higher are demands can be resulting in more respect and autonomy. With 8000 more GP's we will 100% all become drones following the corporate drum beat.....

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  • All those Super-GPs who benefitted from APMS contracts introduced by Labour will automatically support Labour.

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  • No mention of the utterly ridiculous 48 hour appointment access target Dr Sahota??

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  • You neglect to mention that Labour's Andy Burnham -- remember him the man who messed it all up first time wants us all salaried by hospitals. To have a functioning NHS you need a functioning economy Labour just cannot deliver that.

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  • "A Labour government would replace expensive competition with co-operation, put patient care before profit and reinstate the Secretary of State for Health’s accountability for the NHS."

    What a load of Tosh.

    1. Every party is committed to 8000 GP's over the next 5 years because there will be 8000 GP's trained over the next 5 years. No matter who is in power, that is already in the timetable.

    2. Andy Burnham et al couldn't deliver during the 13 years they were in power why would they be any better this time around.

    The only thing that is certain if a Labour Government come to power is higher taxes and national bankruptcy.

    And don't forget General Practice income has been reducing since 2004, every year for 11 years, 6 of which were under a Labour Government!!

    Be careful what you wish for!!

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  • I see the Tory majority in GP land are in good voice this morning. Happy to keep moaning about Andrew Lansley's destruction of the NHS....but still voting for David Cameron as a safe pair of hands. Must have got the Hippocratic Oath confused with something that sounds similar.

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