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GPs go forth

Jeremy Hunt reappointed as health secretary

Prime Minister Theresa May has reappointed Jeremy Hunt as health secretary in her new minority Government following last week's general election.

Mr Hunt, already the longest-serving health secretary, was reelected as MP for South West Surrey after receiving 56% of the public vote in his constituency.

He had been challenged by NHS Action Party candidate and GP, Dr Louise Irvine, who came second with 20% of the vote.

Ms May appointed her cabinet yesterday, after announcing on Friday she would form a minority Government shored up by Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

But Mr Hunt will be forced to appoint a new team of health ministers after two out of three lost their MP seats in the election, including primary care minister David Mowat and public health minister Nicola Blackwood.

And the announcement of Mr Hunt's reappointment was not universally popular with GPs, who took to Twitter to express their concern.

Doncaster LMC medical secretary Dr Dean Eggitt said that Mr Hunt's NHS austerity policies were harming patient care.

And Dr Zoe Norris, a GP in Hull and the chair of the BMA’s sessional GP committee, said simply:

Mr Hunt, who replaced Andrew Lansley as health secretary five years ago, has been the person in charge of overseeing the rollout of Mr Lansley's largely unpopular Health and Social Care Act 2012 reforms, including the formation of NHS England and competitive tenders for all healthcare contracts.

He also faced the wrath of the health profession for imposing the new junior doctor contract last year.

He has yet to react to his latest reappointment, having said last summer following the post-Brexit referendum reshuffle that he was ‘thrilled to be back in the best job in government’.

GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul, who will become chair of the BMA at the end of this month, told Pulse: 'The overriding issue for the NHS is government austerity policy and its denial of the pressures in the NHS and growing health care needs.

'Until we address this fundamental issue and have change of the austerity policy, from the top, then whoever the health secretary is is a secondary issue.'

Dr Nagpaul added that until the issue of a 'bankrupt NHS budget' was addressed, ensuring general practice receives the required funding will be 'impossible'.

Readers' comments (33)

  • Who is Labour's shadow health secretary again?

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  • Please do not show his picture. We all know what he looks like and I for one would rather not see his smiling face again

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  • Health secretary, never easy job. NHS management so very disfunctional, why else would GP be so underfunded?
    I see why he has been kept on with the 2 other health ministers having lost their seats but I do think it's time for a change. IMO Sarah Wollaston should be given a chance.

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  • A second vote for banning his picture here.

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  • Gynaecologists may be interested in his face, but this is a GP forum so they will be gladly missing out.

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  • medicine tastes awful

    Sadiq Khan tells a joke about Jeremy Hunt

    says everything about this man

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  • AlanAlmond

    I'd like to third the motion to stop publishing this mans picture. Seeing it makes me depressed. Can't you use the NHS symbol or something instead? Seriously.

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  • This is the man who imposed a contract on our Juniors. I trust the BMA ARM will pass a vote of no confidence in him as an opening shot.

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  • We have a zombie PM + a zombie health minister.More money will be diverted to NI following agreement with DUP so even less for NHS.The shadow health secretary whoever he or she is has got to be better than hunt.The clock is ticking for hunt +may.The next election will see the end of their destruction of the health service.

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  • Oh joy unconfined at his re-appointment! Aren't I the lucky one having retired from practice 2 weeks ago after 42 years in the NHS. I've no intention of ever picking up a stethoscope again which is tragic but feel sorry for you all left/trapped in the system. Good luck to you all

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