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Main » 2009 » December » 14 » British Medical Association Welcomes Commitment To Frontline NHS Care
British Medical Association Welcomes Commitment To Frontline NHS Care
Commenting on the NHS strategy announced yesterday, Dr Hamish Meldrum, Chairman of Council at the BMA, said:

"We welcome the government's commitment to maintaining NHS funding in England and to protecting frontline services. However, the scale of the challenge in carrying out many of the plans in this document should not be underestimated. Redeploying budgets and staff, or reconfiguring services, is never straightforward.

"NHS staff are pivotal in delivering effective services to patients, and we welcome the Health Secretary's commitment to supporting and engaging with with us. The BMA will respond positively to such engagement. However, the repeated talk of "pay restraint" when what is really meant is no pay rise at all, is demoralising. While healthcare workers clearly understand the financial pressures on the NHS, and will want to act responsibly, they should not be punished for a situation which is not of their making.

"Doctors have been highly critical of the increasing commercialisation of healthcare, so it is good to hear again from Mr Burnham that the NHS is the "preferred provider." However, the private sector has a firm foot-hold, and many examples of waste and inefficiency resulting from the market model remain in the system. Restoring the NHS to a publicly provided service, where providers are encouraged to co-operate rather than compete, must be beneficial to taxpayers as well as patients."

British Medical Association
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