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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Kaiser's secret...softer side...fears over mercury...double the trouble

The comparison of the NHS with Kaiser Permanente is meaningless if there is no financial level playing field. KP's website newsroom says that for 8.2 million members there was an 'operating revenue' of $18.9 billion ­ that's about £1,400 each.

The NHS 'out-turn' for the same period was about £57 billion ­ that's about £1,000 for each UK citizen.

I look forward to a 40 per cent increase for the NHS, targeted towards me and what I need for my patients.

Dr John Fitton

Kettering, Northants

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Professor Martin Marshall is right about the threat to general practice (News, December 8)and I would advise Dr Peter Holden only ever to present a 'hard' medical problem if he is ever ill.

The 'softer side', as Professor Marshall puts it, is aspirational, values-driven primary care.

It is the present mindless thinking that GPs, while not saints, can only be sinners and be motivated solely by financial reward, which is draining our morale.

Dr Chris Manning


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I thought the new contract got away from the old pool system, but we now have it by stealth (News, November 24).

Of course it takes twice as much work to see and monitor twice as many patients ­ they take twice as many doctor and nurse appointments.

Dr Brendan Coonan



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Is the Dr Richard Halvorsen who writes about the alleged link between mercury-containing vaccines and autism (Letters, December 8) the same Dr Richard Halvorsen who is an active supporter of Dr Andrew Wakefield's discredited campaign against MMR?

Dr Michael Fitzpatrick

London N16

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