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BMA Scotland comment on Conservative Party election manifesto

2 April 2007

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Responding to the Scottish Conservative Party’s election manifesto launched today (Monday 2 April 2007), Dr Dean Marshall, chairman of the British Medical Association’s (BMA) Scottish General Practitioners Committee, said that the party had proposed some policies that were particularly interesting for general practice in Scotland.

Dr Marshall said: “Doctors will be pleased to see the Conservatives’ commitment to creating a world-class NHS in Scotland. Their pledge to review the service provided by NHS24 and replace it with local, clinician-led units, is an interesting one, which we would be keen to discuss in greater detail, particularly as such a proposal would require a significant increase in the GP workforce.”

One of the key initiatives in the Conservative’s plans is to give GPs a role in delivering more patient choice. Dr Marshall added: “Doctors strongly support greater choice for patients, as long as it is genuine and meaningful. GPs should have the freedom to refer their patients to the hospital or service that is right and best for their patients.

“In a recent BMA Scotland survey, 72% of doctors believed that offering a choice in location of treatment was not important, while 86% believed that choice about treatment options was more important for patients.”