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BMA chief criticises Gordon Brown over “spin”

28 September 2007

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The head of the British Medical Association (BMA) has launched an attack on Gordon Brown, accusing him of using spin to criticise GPs.

Dr Hamish Meldrum said the Prime Minister has been using the media to condemn doctors over changes to surgery opening hours.

As reported in, both Mr Brown and Health Secretary Alan Johnson used the Labour Party conference to say GPs must offer more flexible hours by opening at evenings and weekends.

But Dr Meldrum said “continually shouting” at staff through the media will not engage workers.

And he said there has been “little or no” consultation with GP representatives from the BMA, despite Dr Meldrum approaching the government.

“What do we have now?” he continued. “The government suggesting that practically the same number of GPs … can extend for a few hours in the evening and work Saturday morning as well, by the way, without any extra resources.”

And he said it is “quite wrong” to suggest to the public that “lazy” GPs need to work harder to solve all the problems.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “There is no concerted campaign to criticise GPs.

“Ministers consistently stress the excellent work GPs are doing for patients and the department is rightly proud of the new contract, which has given GPs a real incentive to provide the first-class service that patients deserve.”


Copyright © PA Business 2007

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