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NHS GP's Betray Patients

Local / NHS May 05, 2009 - 10:00 PM GMT

By: N_Walayat


Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleOver the past 9 months many if not most GP surgeries have made it increasingly difficult for patients to make appointments to see their GP's. Patients seeking GP appointments since September 2008 have invariably been met with the response by GP surgery reception staff to go home and someone will call you. On going home invariably the phone call results with the patient being told to go to their local hospitals walk in centre if the symptoms deteriorate.

The initial response from GP surgeries as to why GP's were in effect avoiding their patients was that this was a emergency measure to cope with the then flu season. Well 9 months on the emergency measures have now turned into a permanent feature of lack of GP services for patients especially those of deprived wards which has recently been shown in several disgraceful incidences in the local press, such as patients having to form long queues outside their GP surgery in Doncaster for many hours just to be able to make an appointment. Or other cases where patients are being turned away by GP reception staff in Sheffield with the excuse given that the GP cannot see patients because of the time taken to translate for their refugee patients.

The reason why this amounts to a betrayal of patients is due to the fact that GP's fought tooth and nail during much of 2008 against the governments plans to implement Super Surgeries that would aim to provide 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm GP walk in services for patients. This brought the threat of real competition to what amounts to an old boys network operated by GP's that has seen GP Pay soar by as much as 35% per annum whilst cutting hours worked. If GP Pay had grown in line with average earnings then the current average GP salary should be £68,000 against the actual average of over £125,000.

According to the National Audit Office, the number of NHS GP's has increased by 15% from 26,833 to 30,931 since 2003, this is as a consequence of the GP contracts debacle, at the same time GP's are working on average 7 hours per week less, therefore a cut in productivity of 18% on a normal working week and thus on balance resulting in little improvement in patient healthcare despite a tripling in costs, with the National Audit office reporting am actual continuous year on year loss of overall productivity.

To now fend off real competition that would bring competent GP services to many area's of the country, GP's embarked upon a program of disinformation which included persuading more than 1 million patients to sign up to a petition against super surgeries and for existing GP Surgeries to be protected.

The Health Minister, Ben Bradshaw in response lashed out at the scare tactics accusing the BMA of "misleading and mendacious" behaviour in getting patients to sign up to the petition.

"I am not surprised the BMA has collected so many signatures, given the misleading and mendacious nature of its campaign.

"If I were to run a campaign making false claims that something terrible was about to happen, a lot of people would sign my petition too.

"We have received widespread anecdotal evidence of patients feeling pressurised to sign the petition as well as practices telling their patients blatant inaccuracies about local plans." he said.

The only conclusion is that the offloading of patients onto the local NHS trust walk in centres is part of the ongoing campaign by GP's in an attempt to allegedly sabotage the governments Super surgeries programme as it threatens to make GP's accountable for the record amounts of pay whilst at the same time GP's work less hours which is costing lives as the NHS continues to fly in doctors from mainland Europe to do the job of British GP's who have opted out of their responsibilities. This is resulting in tired foreign GP's with limited language skills making fatal mistakes resulting in unnecessary deaths as such as the case of the German doctor providing out-of-hours NHS care giving a lethal dose of ten times the proper dose to David Gray.

Since the birth of the NHS in 1948 your local GP was contracted to come and see you out of hours, but now following the Labour governments incompetent GP contracts that they were perhaps hoodwinked into signing upto, GP's in effect pulled a trick on the government by means of on the one hand giving up £6,000 in pay for opting out of our of hours services whilst on the other hand being handed a £60,000 pay hike on top of which they would have earned if pay had risen in line with average earnings. Which has resulted in the debacle of NHS trusts being forced to fly in doctors from mainland Europe.

The only real solution is for the wholesale privatisation of the NHS so that market forces can clear out all of the dead wood that the NHS currently rewards with tax payers cash, which according to an ongoing Market Oracle poll (VOTE NOW - Rate Your NHS GP Doctor Surgery Service) suggests as many as 20% of GP's employed are incompetent and only 50% of patients consider their GP's to be good (out of 1095 votes to date).

However given the political clout that the 1 million that ride the NHS gravy train carry, privatisation is not on the horizon which means in the meantime, despite ongoing GP's propaganda the only hope for millions of patients is in the roll out of Super Surgeries that seek to directly compete and eventually put out of business the incompetent local GP surgeries that have relied on monopolistic powers especially within deprived wards where patients have to put up with in many cases worse than third world healthcare and put themselves at increased risks of ms-diagnoses and crippling or deadly overdoses by bussed in overseas doctors.

By Nadeem Walayat

Copyright © 2005-09 (Market Oracle Ltd). All rights reserved.

Nadeem Walayat has over 20 years experience of trading derivatives, portfolio management and analysing the financial markets, including one of few who both anticipated and Beat the 1987 Crash. Nadeem's forward looking analysis specialises on the housing market and interest rates. Nadeem is the Editor of The Market Oracle, a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication. We present in-depth analysis from over 250 experienced analysts on a range of views of the probable direction of the financial markets. Thus enabling our readers to arrive at an informed opinion on future market direction.

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any trading losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors before engaging in any trading activities.

© 2005-2022 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

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