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Doctors' leaders criticise Budget for failing to increase investment

The RCGP has criticised the chancellor for a ‘catastrophic’ decision in failing to announce an increase in the proportion of the health budget allocated to general practice in today’s Budget.

RCGP chair Maureen Baker said the lack of extra money could be was a ‘missed opportunity’ that would be highly damaging for patient care, because around 90% of patient contacts are in general practice, while the BMA said the Budget did ‘nothing to address the crippling funding shortfall in the NHS’.

General practice currently receives 8.39% of the health budget – an all-time low – but George Osborne did not given any indication that this will rise as part of today’s Budget.

Dr Baker said: ‘With greater investment in general practice we could provide more appointments, a wider range of services and improved continuity of care, as well as providing even greater value for money to the NHS.’

‘If the Government is serious about alleviating pressures on hospitals and providing more care in the community it must act now and urgently put plans in place to increase investment in general practice to 11% of the NHS budget by 2017. Unfortunately, it is our patients who will bear the brunt of another year without additional funding, and the consequences could be catastrophic for patient safety.’

BMA Council chair Dr Mark Porter said: ‘Despite claiming the economy is on the up, today’s Budget does nothing to address the crippling funding shortfall in the NHS. The announcement by the chancellor to continue with pay restraint and more public sector cuts, if re-elected in the next parliament, will only compound this.’

The BMA said that Mr Osborne’s plan to cut 1p in duty on a pint of beer shows he has ‘abandoned any serious efforts to tackle alcohol-related harm.’

Mr Osborne confirmed in the Budget that the Government will introduce higher employer contribution rates for the NHS Pension Scheme from April next year, as reported by Pulse last week.

Readers' comments (8)

  • With an efficient well funded primary care service it is difficult to make private health care pay . Priority one destroy general practice all other priorities rescinded .

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  • Paranoid rubbish , if they were really trying to destroy Gp's they would hardly have given such a generous pay rise and they would make them pay increased pension contributions and increase the work load . Oh wait a minute ...

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  • It is very clever of government . Think of how they go about it : ultimate aim is do away with GPs - how to achieve this - reduce funding year on year so it becomes inevitable that disasters happen , then use the public outcry from these disasters to justify the very thing that was your ultimate aim - destroy GPs. What's more no-one notices as its by stealth over prolonged periods,like a giant Jenga we will all come tumbling down some day soon ( not until after next election )

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  • We have seen nothing yet. Look at the present lack of funding for home and residential care. Soon it will be the same in the NHS, for secondary as well as primary care. Welcome to third world standards. If you can not pay, good luck to you.

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  • whats to complain about..there is always enough money...for the rapid breeding of administrators for the ludicrous internal market..for endless failed it..for ridiculous factitious choice...for absurd payoffs for failed managers....for catastrophic pfi excellent way to transfer nhs resources to tax avoiding 'companies' no better than fraudsters...for failed and dangerous istc's.....for a reorganisation of the nhs imposed with no mandate from the voters ..probably a billion wasted on that alone even discounting gross inefficiencies due to yet more absurd change...oh hang on..maybe do you think that is why the nhs now has such a poor ratio of front line staff and beds to population..i am so sick of the waste of scarce resources on insane madcap schemery to hide a wanton failure to address the true source of nhs the cause of stafford was totally due to the nhs trust system...a failure and misnomer.
    what is needed for this mendacious shower of incompetent idiots is to be annihilated at the next election for a generation.

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  • Sadly I don't think that annihilating the current government at the next election would make a jot of difference. This has been happening for 10 years and started with labour. It is planned by the civil servants who will remain whoever is elected.

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  • Now is the time for our apparent leaders to kick ass. The closer we get to the election the more vulnerable this government becomes. It is completly reasonable to expect that their views and opinions will soften to avoid any bad press.
    Proble is thatafter the election we will enter another phase of primary care being the TARGET.
    We could make some changes in meantime - BMA ,RCGP and GPC Step up please !!

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  • How did RCGP expect to negotiate with NHSE on the back of the flimsy "Putting Patients First" campaign when it kowtows like Oliver Twist asking for more gruel.

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