While the Department of Health plans to abolish practice boundaries may seem a popular diversion and a potential vote winner, it seems to miss the point that one of the prime functions of a GP is to care for sick and disabled people, many of whom cannot travel and for whom efficient medical care requires detailed and personal knowledge.
This job cannot possibly be done properly for non-local patients.
It also fails to recognise that patients may have chosen a non-local doctor for whatever reason, may then become ill and unable to travel and then unexpectedly require this local service.
This policy will appeal to the worried well at the expense of the unwell and their carers. Do patients really believe that the primary role of their GP is to practise this supermarket-style of medicine?
I challenge the Government to launch a similar consultation concerning the election of MPs. Wouldn’t it be a good idea if we could vote for whichever candidate we liked across the whole country? We could then anticipate where the marginal seats are and really make our vote count.
Would this be good democracy? I think not, and neither are the Government proposals going to encourage good medicine.
From Dr Nicholas Brown