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CBI calls for proposed private sector ban to be reconsidered

6 April 2009

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Private firms should be allowed to provide GP services in Scotland, a group of business chiefs has told MSPs.

The measure to ban such a move is included in the proposed Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Bill, which is currently being scrutinised by Holyrood’s Health and Sport committee.

However, a submission by CBI Scotland says a ban would mean that patients could miss out on more “innovative” services which respond to their needs.

“The Scottish government appears to believe that involving the independent sector in the provision of NHS healthcare will lead to profits being put before patients,” it states.

“The CBI rejects this notion, and believes that a wider range of private and voluntary organisations are well positioned to deliver better services because of their experience and understanding of people’s needs.”

The submission continues: “Both sectors have the ability to deliver choice and satisfaction to citizens and communities.

“The Scottish government will be letting down the public if it does not use them to the full.”

Among the CBI’s membership is a “broad spectrum” of private healthcare firms providing services to the NHS across the UK.

“Several of these companies are providing GP and primary care services such as walk-in centres south of the border,” the submission states.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

CBI Scotland