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Independents' Day

Polyclinics are like some Stalinist nightmare

I wasn't a big fan of Thatcher's NHS reforms and voted for Blair and Brown in 1997, thinking they could bring about genuine improvements. How daft can you get?

Thank you for pointing out that a large number of GP practices are destined to go under.

There is a perception that the NHS is becoming increasingly Stalinist. Lord Stasi has announced his five-year plan. We are to have Polit-clinics - but apparently they won't be forced upon us.

PCTs will set up public consultations and the outcomes will bear an uncanny resemblance to what they've already been told to do.

In nearly 30 years in general practice, I've never known the health service to be in such a mess.

For all the headlines proclaiming record earnings for GPs, the struggle to keep the practice afloat and ensure even the most basic standard of care for patients has never been harder.

There is a sustained attempt to close small practices, particularly where they are in competition with facilities run by the PCT. The Polit-clinics will not be made to compete on a level playing field.

At Greenwood Surgery we've never had it so bad. Blair said: 'Things can only get better.'

Dr John Cormack, South Woodham Ferrers, Essex

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