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Doctors welcome Scottish bill protecting NHS general practice

26 February 2009

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The publication of the Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Bill was today (Thursday 26 February 2009) welcomed by BMA Scotland.

The bill seeks to help reduce the devastating impact of tobacco on Scotland and also protect NHS general practice by keeping “patient care before profit”.

It includes an amendment to the NHS (Scotland) Act 1978 seeking to prevent commercial companies from operating GP surgeries.

Dr Dean Marshall (pictured), Chairman of BMA Scotland’s GP committee, said: “The measures proposed in this bill seek to protect NHS general practice and are very welcome. General practice, delivered under the auspices of the NHS, will ensure that patient care comes before profit and patients can be assured of continuity of care.”

Commenting on the bill’s main proposals – to crack down on the promotion of tobacco products – Dr Peter Terry, Chairman of BMA Scotland, said: “The BMA welcomes the measures outlined in the Bill that will put an end to the loopholes that allows tobacco to be advertised to our children.

“It is a fact that displays at point of sale normalise tobacco use and act like advertising. Now that we understand the dangers of tobacco and see the devastation that tobacco causes, this cannot be allowed to continue. We therefore welcome the government’s approach to stop point-of-sale advertising.

“The Parliament must now step up and put health before the commercially driven interests of the tobacco industry.”

BMA Scotland