Seven GPs have been elected to BMA Council, including a prominent anti-privatisation campaigner and one member who is calling for mass resignation from the GP contract.
The successful GP candidates were GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey, Tower Hamlets CCG chair Dr Sam Everington, Welsh GPC deputy chair Dr David Bailey, BMA Scottish Council chair Dr Brian Keighley, former GPC chair Dr John Chisholm, Lancashire GP Dr David Wrigley and south London GP Dr Una Coales.
Among non-GPs elected to the council were Queen Mary public health expert Professor Allyson Pollock – who came top of the poll – and north London consultant Dr Jacky Davis, who co-wrote the book ‘NHS SOS: How the NHS was betrayed – and how we can save it’, published earlier this year, together with Dr Wrigley.
Commenting on their election, Dr Wrigley said he and fellow campaigners will now attempt to keep the anti-privatisation message central to the BMA’s agenda.
He said: ‘I am very grateful to my UK medical colleagues for electing me onto the council. I have been a heavy campaigner over the disastrous Health and Social Care Act and plan to continue campaigning against the privatisation of the NHS in England. We will carry on getting our message across and with my colleagues I will campaign to get the BMA to fight for the NHS.’
Meanwhile, Dr Una Coales, who has floated the controversial suggestion for GPs to walk out on the GP contract, said: ‘My main objective is to campaign for the BMA to ballot GP members on mass resignation from the NHS GP contract – as things stand we are facing is the disintegration of general practice, with devastating consequences for patients.
‘We need to look at an alternative, perhaps with co-payment, adopting the dentist’s model of allowing GPs to offer private services alongside NHS so that income can keep the state side viable.’
‘We are trying to make savings but the demand is unrelenting and the Government doesn’t want to address that because of [losing the vote]. We need to adopt the Australian, Canadian or Irish model where there is a fee but those who are poor or elderly get reimbursed – so we take care of those who can’t afford healthcare but ask those who can to contribute.’
Note: This story was amended at 09.54 on Wednesday 23 April.
Candidates elected onto BMA Council
Professor Allyson Pollock – Academic, London/Scotland
Dr Sam Everington – GP, London
Dr Una Coales – GP, London
Dr Richard Vautrey– GP, north east England
Dr John Chisholm –GP, London
Dr David Wrigley – GP, north west England
Dr Jacky Davis – Consultant, London
Dr Trevor Pickersgill – Consultant, Wales
Dr David Bailey – GP, Wales
Dr Brian Keighley – retired GP, Scotland
Dr Sara Hedderwick – Consultant, Northern Ireland
Dr Derek Machin – Consultant, north west England
Dr J S Bamrah – Consultant, north west England
Dr Radhakrishna Shanbhag, – Staff associates specialist, north west England
Dr Kitty Mohan – Junior doctors, London
Dr Jonathan Coates – Junior doctors, north east England
Dr Brendan McKeating – Armed forces, central England
Dr Mark Weir – Occupational health, Northern Ireland