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At the heart of general practice since 1960

It's a Government conspiracy to get all GPs out of the NHS

The debacle over the contract, the way our negotiators have been played with, the drop in income that most practices will see, and the increase in workload has made the whole Government strategy clear. They want GPs out of the NHS.

They are trying to do to us what they did to dentists ­ pay someone less and less for doing more and more until they throw the towel in and go private.

I am not normally a believer in conspiracy theories, but is there any other conclusion? How many ministers do you see wringing their hands and bemoaning the fact that in many areas you can't get an NHS dentist. Politically no Government can be seen to destroy NHS primary care services, so they need to do it by throwing the blame elsewhere ­ at us.

Will public health suffer? Probably not in a noticeable way. Most reasonably affluent areas will have private practice, doing what we do now. Socially deprived areas will have very basic walk-in centres similar to the dental provision in these areas, tackling emergency work only and not doing any preventive work.

Morbidity and mortality rates in these areas would rise but it would be quite hard to measure. I urge everyone to vote No. It's time to shine the spotlight on this insidious policy.

Dr Alan Stone

Cardiff

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