[Saturday 14 January 2017]
Dr David Wrigley – a Lancashire GP, Deputy BMA Chair* and member of health campaigning groups Keep Our NHS Public and Doctors for the NHS – has condemned Prime Minister May’s exhortation for GPs to increase the level of service they provide, saying this is asking his colleagues to take irresponsible risks with their patients’ lives:
‘The Prime Minister is actually asking doctors to provide unsafe care to their patients which goes against everything a doctor has been trained for. GPs work 12-14 hours a day in an NHS collapsing around them due to the defunding of the NHS by this government and cuts to social care brought about by Mrs May and her Cabinet.
‘Shamefully for this government our NHS is one of the lowest funded health services compared with other European countries. We are short of thousands of GPs in this country.
‘This government constantly parades the fact there are “thousands of extra doctors” but this is just not evident and shows how out of touch this government is. GPs cannot currently provide safe care in their surgeries Monday to Friday so asking them to open 7 days a week verges on the dangerous.
‘Of course the collapsing NHS suits the Conservatives as we will see the introduction of private GPs, charging for appointments and insurance-driven health care. This nightmare scenario is not far away now. We will also see more services sold off to Ministers’ friends in the large corporate sector.’
*The opinion expressed here by Dr Wrigley does not necessarily reflect that of the BMA.
Keep Our NHS Public (KONP) was formed in 2005 and has a broad-based, public membership. There are over 75 local groups, plus over 20 affiliated organisations and a national association. It has the explicit aim of countering marketisation [1,2] and privatisation of the NHS by campaigning for a publicly funded, publicly provided and publicly accountable NHS, available to all on the basis of clinical need. It is opposed to cuts in service which run counter to these principles. Further details: www.keepournhspublic.com
Doctors for the NHS (DFNHS) is a peer-based campaigning group which shares similar aims to KONP and has over 700 doctors as members throughout the UK: www.doctorsforthenhs.org.uk
KONP’s and DFNHS’s media contact is Alan Taman:
07870 757 309
 Davis, J., Lister, J. and Wrigley, D. (2015) NHS For Sale. London: Merlin Press.
Leys, C. and Player, S. (2011) The Plot Against the NHS. Pontypool: Merlin
Lister, J. (2008) The NHS After 60: For Patients or Profits? London: Middlesex University Press
Owen, D. (2014) The Health of the Nation: The NHS in Peril. York: Methuen, Chapter 4.
Player, S. (2013) ‘Ready for market’. In NHS SOS ed by Davis, J. and Tallis, R. London: Oneworld, pp.38-61.
 The belief that ‘competition is always best’ does not work when applied to healthcare. A comprehensive and universal health service is best funded by public donation, which has been shown to be far more efficient overall than private-insurance healthcare models
[Davis, J., Lister, J. and Wrigley, D. (2015) NHS For Sale. London: Merlin Press. Chapters 2 and 8.
Lister, J. (2013) Health Policy Reform: global health versus private profit. Libri: Faringdon.
Pollock, A. and Price, D. (2013) In NHS SOS, ed by Davis, J. and Tallis, R. Oneworld: London, 174.]