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BMA leader: Ministers are trying to undermine trust in doctors

BMA chair Dr Mark Porter has claimed ministers are trying to undermine trust in doctors and are 'squandering the morale of decent people', in a speech to an emergency summit today.

Dr Porter added that NHS is ‘crippled by denial’ as ministers expect it to deliver more, while coping with £22bn of efficiency savings.

Speaking at an emergency meeting of BMA 'special representatives' today, Dr Porter warned that the NHS is in financial crisis, saying: ‘It is a health service with a revenue larger than the GDP of many countries, but which would struggle to get a credit rating. Which suffers from debt, but is crippled by denial.’

‘The chancellor speaks of a “fully-funded” NHS but has come up with less than a third of the extra £30 billion in England alone that he admits it needs… His claims are fantasy, but so too are his solutions. He says we just need to be more efficient. So much more efficient that £22 billion worth of work that we do apparently won’t exist, or won’t cost anything, in four years’ time… We have a government that promises, and expects, the impossible. That ignores the inconvenient,’ he added.

The Government’s seven-day access drive also came under fire from the BMA chair: ‘The Government must drop its cynical and corrosive tactic of trying to undermine trust in doctors. Making laughable accusations that doctors don’t work weekends, or that GPs don’t do out of hours, doesn’t soften us up in negotiations. And it doesn’t fool the public either. It just squanders the morale of decent people.’

However, Dr Porter praised the role of GPs in the face of this crisis: ‘There are GPs who, despite the intense escalation in their workload, the years of funding cuts and lack of help with premises, have somehow transformed the way their practices are run, and made the care they deliver even better… So often, we work to improve the quality of patient care even while the system just demands more paperwork and more reorganisation…Some GPs, despite their reservations, are daring to hope that their working lives will become more bearable following the GP Forward View plan from NHS England. We should all be able to hope.'

This comes after Pulse has reported that GPs are still in favour of mass resignation despite the Government’s support package for general practice.

Readers' comments (19)

  • Now imagine me on the Maginot line
    Sitting on a mine in the Maginot line
    Now its turned out nice again....

    The Phoney War remains alive today.

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  • Jeremy's going to regret not just trying to negotiate with Johann, having just stated he'll try to consult above his head. Mark Porter's done fantastically here at supporting colleagues. I know the cynics will say that it's just words, but it's nice to see him support the juniors.

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  • John Glasspool

    It's just words, and no one will listen.

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  • Finally, Drs leaders telling it as it is and not dressing it up in political niceties.
    The government seems to be attacking all professions at the moment. The underlying discourse appears to be that professionals are only in it for themselves and are obstructing the government in making things better for the public. They fail to revognise that the professions are made up of a sizeable chunk of the public. If you don't listen to the professions and the public ( see primary school testing and academies toon) then you end up being a dictatorship. This is ultimately leading to civic unrest unless the government changes course FAST

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  • Dr Porter would do well to talk to the teachers.
    Doctors, nurses...this is just the start.

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  • Well, Lets be honest ...you have all woken up at the end of the film although Sir J. Hunt has been acting very well throughout, making sure the backdoor privitisation goes through for all his buddies, prior to letting the 'rumours' hit the headlines!....Best man for the job!!!

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  • Hopeless-Unintelligent-Nonsensical-Twit

    Mr Hunt claims the juniors striking is to bring the government down - come on juniors go for it.

    The british public have a choice - close hospitals or close westminister( i.e change government). Who will win!

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  • It's impossible to undermine trust in politicians. No one trusts them anyway. Politicians do not understand truth . They only say what is expedient . This may co-incide with the truth sometimes but as a matter of principle they will try to avoid speaking it.

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  • The above is a quote from Flavinius approx 200 AD - it seems not much changes.

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  • Dr Mark Porter is absolutely correct. and the government would do well to listen to him! But they won't...

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