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Independents' Day

MMR catch-up call

Patients appear confused about the creeping growth of private sector provision of NHS services.

Support for a publicly-funded NHS was rock solid, with four patients in five saying the NHS should be the provider of all health care.

Equally only 14 per cent disagreed with the statement that the future looked rosy for the NHS as a public service.

But when asked if the

Government should contract work out to private firms that could provide services for less than the NHS, 57 per cent agreed.

Dr James Kingsland, chair of the National Association of Primary Care, said he believed patients did not want to see the NHS destabilised but were happy to use commercial health care.

'They want this uniform organisation to provide everything they need but they have never had that. Most people use other services at some stage.

'If you ask do they want an accessible, free-at-the-point-of-access, funded service then everyone will say yes.

'But other providers step in where that organisation can't provide everything,' Dr Kingsland said.

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