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Patients “won’t mind getting on a bus”

5 November 2010

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A senior doctor has warned about his concerns over patients travelling to different GP surgeries for treatments.

British Medical Association GPs’ Committee Chair Dr Laurence Buckman revealed his fears about GP commissioning at the all-party parliamentary group on primary care and public health.

He said that patients would “get on a bus” to do whatever it takes to get the necessary treatments, but that this could damage care if there are no restrictions. Dr Buckman thinks a situation where different surgeries are competing for patients would be unhealthy.

He said: “If you develop a disease with expensive treatment which is not available with your GP but is with one a hundred miles away, you’re going to go to that GP.

“If I had a fatal disease I’d get on a bus,” he added.

Dr Buckman said the introduction of the reforms would make postcode lotteries “more obvious”, but he hopes that a greater patient involvement in clinical decisions will bring commissioners more in line with demand.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

BMA GP Committee

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

“Crikey, folks only have to go the the end of the street in the area where I work. A new health centre has been built on practically every street corner. When you think of the money that has been spent over the last 20yrs trying to keep people healthy and also on public health i’m sure it wasn’t meant to end like this. We also operate a 24hr WIC that is often full to overflowing. we will never satisfy the beast called ‘the patient'” – Nurse, Lancs

“Are you kidding? Patients won’t walk 20 metres never mind get a bus they will call the local media and villify the GP who will then be tried and condemned in the court of public opinion without the chance of a fair hearing” – Name and address withheld