By Lilian Anekwe
Thousands of GPs and NHS workers gathered in London over the weekend to protest against public sector cuts.
The BMA canvassed support for the rally, which began at Temple Place in central London before protestors marched to Trafalgar Square to hear a speech by BMA chair Dr Hamish Meldrum.
Dr Helena McKeown, a GP in Salisbury and a member of BMA council marched on Saturday with her 14-year old daughter and 15-year old son.
She told Pulse: ‘Whoever wins the next general election will be looking at the welfare state and public services as a way of cutting public expenditure.
The rally is an opportunity for doctors to stand side by side with our colleagues and our patients, and demonstrate how much we care about the NHS as a public service.’
Dr David Wrigley, a GPC member and a GP in Carnforth in Lancashire said: ‘This is a great opportunity for doctors and medical students to show their commitment to the NHS and other public services. We’ve seen first-hand the damaging effects of market reforms in primary care.
‘It is vital we ensure the NHS is the best it can be for our patients and that taxpayers money is used on frontline NHS services and not siphoned off to big businesses in the City.
‘Reforms such as PFI and ISTCs have diverted large amounts of money from frontline services. In addition to ongoing problems created by these reforms, we face additional funding squeezes Whoever wins the next election, the whole NHS is facing the threat of further cuts.’
Defending the private sector: images from the march