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BMA calls for end to healthcare market

Chairman of the British Medical Association, Dr Hamish Meldrum, has called on the NHS to replace what he referred to as the 'damaging' market in the NHS
Chairman of the British Medical Association (BMA), Dr Hamish Meldrum, has called on the NHS to replace what he referred to as the 'damaging' market in the NHS, with a more cooperative Scottish healthcare model.

According to Meldrum, healthcare in England is being run like a 'shoddy supermarket war' where competition rather than collaboration, which does not benefit doctors or patients, is being encouraged. He said Lord Darzi had missed a 'golden opportunity' to get rid of the market in healthcare once and for all.

Meldrum believes the NHS should adopt a model similar to that operating in Scotland, where there is no competitive market.

"If it can be done here in Edinburgh, it can be done in England," Meldrum said. "Let's stop pretending that healing the sick is like trading a commodity. Let's stop diverting doctors' energies into unholy bidding wars for jobs they already do."

He said that the BMA has already come up with an alternative system for healthcare that would see greater patient, public and professional decision-making, freed from political interference.

"The BMA wants to see an NHS untarnished by a market economy, true to its beginnings, giving the public a fair, caring, equitable and cost-effective health-service," Meldrum added.

8th July 2008

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