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Meldrum urges Goverment to end market-led NHS reforms

By Gareth Iacobucci

BMA chair Hamish Meldrum has urged new health secretary Andy Burnham to put a stop to the Government's controversial market-led reform of the NHS.

Speaking at the BMA's Annual Representative Meeting in Liverpool, Dr Meldrum appealed to the secretary of state to abandon the Government's obsession with competition, and called for an end the 'wasteful bureacracy' of the market.

He said the looming financial hardship facing the NHS required a total rethink in priorities, and said there had never been a more pertinent time for the Government to review its commercialisation agenda.

Dr Meldrum also attacked the huge sums spent on external management consultants in the health service, as recently revealed by Pulse, and urged all delegates to sign up to the BMA's anti-commercialisation campaign in solidarity.

'We must look at how we can use scarce resources more efficiently, where we can cut out waste and unnecessary expense,' he said. 'The best advice of all Andy? End the ludicrous, divisive, expensive experiment of the market in healthcare in England.'

'Never has there been a better time to abandon the wasteful bureaucracy of the market. Never has there been a better time for the various parts of the NHS to cooperate rather than compete.'

Dr Meldrum added: 'You can cut out the waste and inefficiency of hiring expensive management consultants to try and solve the ills of the NHS. We can tell you what's wrong with the system and we come a damn sign cheaper than McKinsey's or KPMG.'

BMA chair Dr Hamish Meldrum: End market-led reforms BMA chair Dr Hamish Meldrum Read Meldrum's speech in full

To read the full transcript of Dr Hamish Meldrum's speech, click here.

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