Medicopolitical Digest

The BMA annual representative meetingDoctors oppose resiting of juniors' contractsPrivate hospital given kiss of lifeFrom the local medical committee conferenceThere should be an alternative to target net remunerationCore element of general medical services must be definedGMSC will have triennial elections

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 08 July 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:130
  1. Linda Beecham

    The BMA annual representative meeting

    BMA chairman issues three challenges

    Unless three issues are resolved urgently the profession's vision for the future of medicine will not be achieved, Dr Sandy Macara told the BMA's annual representative meeting this week. In his opening address the chairman of the BMA council said that, firstly, there must be a planned, phased increase in the consultant establishment in order to implement the Calman report on specialist medical training. Secondly, the increasing bureaucratic pressure on general practitioners must be relieved and an acceptable alleviation of their out of hours commitment secured. Thirdly, more consultant posts must be provided in public health medicine and means found to enable its skills to be deployed across the NHS.

    In 1994 Dr Macara had talked about healing in a wounded NHS. That remained true in 1995. There remained a famine of positive policies in the government--a failure to acknowledge reality as it force feeds the public on a diet of indigestible statistics. What could the profession do? Its duty was clear--those who understood health care had to continue to prescribe the remedies. Two myths had to be laid to rest. Firstly, that the profession was against change. “We revel in it, when it is for the better, when it provides new weapons in the conflict against disease, weapons tested and proven in clinical trials.” The second myth was that the profession was against competition. Doctors opposed competition for business in health care but “we relish competing with the forces of death and disease in the battle for life and death.”


    During the session the persistence of the consultants' negotiators had averted the threat of the imposition of local pay and delivered a more equitable arrangement for discretionary payments, which involved management but depended on peer review. Unfortunately, the persistence of the general practitioners had not been so rewarded and …

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