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Independents' Day

Medicine being softened up

Not a day passes without hearing outbursts of some very inappropriate and ill thought-out comments about the NHS.

It appears all doom and gloom as one never hears about the positive outcomes of the new GP contract: decline in incidence of CHD, vast improvement in diabetes care, improved management of hypertension and other chronic diseases and large numbers of surgical procedures undertaken.

Those, together with 84% satisfaction in the patient access survey, are just a few examples of what has been achieved. GPs have exceeded Government expectations.

What did we get in return? No thanks from our political masters, who undoubtedly egged on the media to demonise doctors. The CBI happily joined in about lost working time from lack of appointments.

We are being constantly threatened by changes to the contract and asked to provide 24-hour opening. How we resource this supposed need for healthy people is not clear.

There is talk of planting GPs in supermarkets so while people are shopping they can have their verrucas looked at.

I feel we are in the process of trivialising medicine. This is not in the interests of the profession or the patient.

I suspect that such irresponsible promises are not just for the election but that there may be other motives. New private companies will spring up with their boards of directors.

Has any poll asked the electorate if they want privatisation of the NHS?

From Dr Syed Zafar, Birmingham

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