Polyclinics must not poach our patients
I met health secretary Alan Johnson recently and he insisted patients will be allowed to register with the new 8am-8pm, seven-days-a-week polyclinics.
Losing even a few hundred patients each will destabilise most nearby small practices and force them to close. Patients will have to walk long distances.
We need to make sure that these polyclinics, which are being unfairly funded at a higher rate per patient than GP practices, do not bring about the end of family practice - the cheapest and most efficient way of delivering primary care in the western world.
GPs cost the Government about £25 a year after tax for each patient on their list, and see each patient on average about four times. Private care can never match that.
We have to persuade the Government that polyclinics should provide localised out-of-hours care but not register patients.
Dr S Mohindra, Nottingham
I read your recent article on polyclinics with amazement.
How can Dr Mohammed Tahir and the Government be so naive as to think that patients are going to welcome polyclinics with open arms?
Why on earth would anyone be happy to lose their local GP to whom they have formed an attachment over many years?
Access to diagnostics is of small benefit compared with the comfort and familiarity of a trusted GP and their team.
Consider the elderly and patients without transport who suddenly find they have to travel miles to see their doctor, not to mention the bureaucracy that accompanies large clinical establishments.
Very often, close doctor-patient relationships negate the need for some diagnostics, with the doctor having an intimate knowledge of the patient.
Hands off our GPs. Let them continue to do the excellent job that they have always done.
Lynn Joy, practice nurse, Burton, Dorset