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Spin or substance? Judge for yourself...

'BMA asks GPs to consider quitting NHS’ (or 'Plan for all GPs to quit NHS' in the paper edition) is quite a sensational headline and we're aware that there'll be a few sceptics out there thinking 'ah rubbish, it's all Pulse spin'.

By Steve Nowottny

'BMA asks GPs to consider quitting NHS' (or 'Plan for all GPs to quit NHS' in the paper edition) is quite a sensational headline and we're aware that there'll be a few sceptics out there thinking 'ah rubbish, it's all Pulse spin'.



Well, you can decide for yourselves because the BMA presentation upon which we based the story is attached to the story itself, and also to this blog. We certainly think we've been balanced.

The BMA clearly produced the presentation to leave GPs attending its meetings on the current contract problems in no doubt about both the consequences of accepting or rejecting the Government offer, and all of the options on the table whichever course is chosen.

Among those options is 'the end of the world' - quitting the NHS - about which a substantial part of the BMA presentation is devoted. The attached notes to the slides, indeed, make more interesting reading than the slides themselves.

We've already had a big response from you about the issue. Some GPs have rubbished the idea as one which would lose patient sympathy - not to mention GPs' livelihoods - others have applauded the BMA for considering a genuinely radical move.

It is somewhat of a shame then that the GPC appears to want to distance itself from even having raised the question - to the extent of asking the LMC which originally posted the document to remove it from its own website.

GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman – in a statement which you can read in full here – says the BMA is 'not encouraging or even asking GPs to leave the NHS.' But he pertinently adds that the BMA is ‘naturally looking at all the options'.

Of which one, as you'll see from the presentation, is private practice.

The BMA contract presentation The BMA contract presentation logo The BMA official response The BMA official response

Responding to a news article in Pulse magazine on the BMA's impasse with Government on extended hours, Dr Laurence Buckman, chairman of the BMA's GPs Committee, said:


"The BMA is not encouraging or even asking GPs to leave the NHS. We are fighting to preserve it.


"GPs care passionately about the NHS. They have great fears about the Government's intent to introduce private firms into primary care which risks destroying the traditional model of UK general practice that is so highly valued and trusted by patients and admired across the world."


"We are naturally looking at all the options if faced with an imposition1 by Government, including advising GPs of the consequences of leaving the NHS."

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