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Buckman to stand for re-election as GPC chair

By Gareth Iacobucci

Exclusive: GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman has revealed he will be standing for re-election this summer.

In an exclusive interview with Pulse, Dr Buckman, who has been in the role for three years, confirmed he was keen to extend his tenure into 2011.

Dr Buckman has led the profession through some turbulent times since taking over from Dr Hamish Meldrum in 2007, with GPs being hit with extended hours, successive pay freezes and a growing threat from the private sector.

Reflecting on his three years in the role, Dr Buckman described the experience as ‘an education’, but said he was determined to keep fighting GPs’ corner.

He said he would continue to rail against people ‘who feel they can just have a go at GPs’, citing the BMA’s Save Our Surgeries campaign as one of the key moments of his tenure so far.

‘The biggest highlight I suppose is walking into No. 10 with a petition showing a huge number of patients don’t agree with Government policy. But that’s also a lowlight, because the fact that you have to do that to demonstrate the feeling out there is very sad.’

Dr Buckman said his desire to stand again had been spurred by ‘the rollercoaster of the political experience’, which he admitted ‘is not always a hugely attractive thing, but certainly an education.’

If successfuly re-elected this summer, he will be required to stand again in 2011 and 2012 if he wishes to serve the maximum six years as chairman of the GPC.

Dr Laurence Buckman The full interview

Look out for further highlights of our exclusive interview with GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman in next week’s issue of Pulse. The full interview will be available on PulseToday in the next few days.