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Independents' Day

Scrap GPs? It's time to stand up for ourselves

The (completely erroneous) assumption being made by those who wish to scrap GPs (News, October 6) is that specialising is best professional practice and that generalists are of no value!

Remember when we were told consultants could just move straight into general practice? Thank goodness the RCGP stood up for us and said: 'Yes, but only with proper training.'

How would hospital doctors cope with complex problem solving, uncertainty, necessary consulting skills, management and all the aspects of practice that make us unique?

The fundamental aspect of general practice that makes it the most effective care system in the developed world is continuity of care. This gives us a lot of potential power, particularly since we have a million consultations a day and see 10 per cent of the population weekly.

Has anyone genuinely asked the public what they want? Does anyone recall any of these massive reforms being put in a manifesto for debate? Will we end up, like so many developed countries, running care on the basis of patient flows for their 'disease', hotly pursued by the accountants? Has Harry Cayton heard of holistic care?

When are we going tostand up for ourselves?

Dr David Polkinghorn

Wath Upon Dearne

South Yorkshire

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