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CAMHS won't see you now

What's really wanted is a radical rethink by the Health Minister

So the minister says the NHS must be driven by what patients want? Okay, if patients want to see me when they want about anything they want, I want £15,000/£40,000 for an assistant nurse/doctor.

If they want expensive drugs and appliances then I want an extra 20 per cent on my £200,000 drug budget. If they want to see a specialist when they want to, my local hospital will want an extra £20,000 per GP.

If they want a sicknote for as long as they want, the benefits agency will want at least another £10,000 per GP.

So that's nearly £3 billion so far, please, Mr Chancellor ­ and I haven't even mentioned the out-of-hours.

I'm not much of a college fan but we need some leadership from its excellent president to remind everyone that GPs exist as an insurance service to provide what claimants need, not what they want. We are economical gatekeepers.

This concept was introduced in 1911 as a copy of the German system to ensure the masses could get a decent health service and the majority of doctors could earn a decent living. It works, but only if GPs are well supported and do their gatekeeping job well.

Think again, minister. Please.

Dr John Fitton

Kettering, Northamptonshire

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