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BMA defends GP surgeries against CBI attack

19 September 2007

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The BMA has countered the CBI’s criticism of primary care by saying that they “should put their own house in order” before heaping blame on primary practices.

Earlier this week, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) complained that their employees are suffering due to restricted GP surgery opening times, difficulty in booking appointments and a limited number of services.

Deputy director-general John Cridland said employees need a “GP service that fits around people’s lives, offering convenience and flexibility.”

But BMA Chairman Dr Laurence Buckman argues that most patients have no problem booking ahead for an appointment, saying: “It is difficult to make sure you can always offer large numbers of 24 hour appointments and still have enough left to allow forward booking.

“GPs are working to improve things for their patients.”

In response to the CBI suggesting that patients should be able to register with more than one surgery, Dr Buckman said: “The reason why care is not fragmented amongst a number of doctors is to prevent multiple attendances and confusion between different health professionals.”

He adds that GP practices do offer a range of services, saying: “It is surprising the CBI failes to recognize how general practice now offers patients care for things like diabetes, heart and chest problems and many other areas for which patients used to have a hospital appointment.”

British Medical Association

Related story: CBI calls for “thorough overhaul” of family doctor system

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