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LMC '04 conference round-up

•Primary care organisations are too small to commission effectively and need to be merged into larger, more cost-effective bodies, delegates heard.

Dr John Higgie, from Somerset LMC, told members that PCOs were being diverted from their core tasks and were too small for the management teams to do what was asked of them.

•LMC members voted unanimously to condemn Government bias against small rural practices and demanded that they receive better funding.

Dr Gregor Purdie, from Dumfries and Galloway LMC, told delegates that rural general practice is the entire health service in some areas. 'Our

patients look to us for all the services they require,' he said.

•GPs passed motions calling for near patient testing to be renegotiated to take into account newer drugs used in shared care for rheumatological conditions.

They also called for the national enhanced service for sexual health to be redefined and for new enhanced services for patients in nursing homes, refugees and patients whose first language is not English.

•GPs voted to deplore the Government's failure to negotiate a UK-wide contract for doctors working in community hospitals and demanded the GPC negotiate 'clear, satisfactory terms'.

LMCs also condemned appalling pay and conditions for the work and 'blackmail' by primary care organisations trying to ensure continuity of medical staffing.

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