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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Time for GPC to step up and thwart this free-for-all

Last week's string of announcements on the future of primary care amounted to an orchestrated coup de theatre by the Government. With a few deft touches, it has changed the whole political scenery and plunged general practice into fresh drama.

GPs had assumed that despite the new contract, they would continue to be sole gatekeepers to the NHS, the key players on the primary care stage.

Now we know the contract is part of quite a different backdrop – that of free market competition. Early warning of this came in the form of the 11-hour lifting of the ban on the sale of goodwill.

And under the shadowy plans now being wheeled out of the wings, GPs could find any part of their practice up for grabs from private industry, other NHS providers or even other GPs.

GPs can only hope the GPC does its job and fights the changes and is not dazzled by the Government's sense of dramatic timing.

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