Editorials

Setting the agenda for health after the election

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7083.767 (Published 15 March 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:767

The BMA's challenge

  1. A W Macara, Chairman, BMA Councila
  1. a BMA, London WC1H

    As we approach the general election the opinion polls place health issues near the top of the public's agenda. Last week the BMA council issued its challenge to all the political parties (see box). This challenge needs to be placed in the context of the past few turbulent years. Three years ago the BMA supported my seven point plan to reform the reforms of 1991. What is the interim verdict?

    Firstly, I called for everyone to face the facts, inviting the government to acknowledge that its “huge national experiment” had failed and inviting the profession to recognise that it had not always been as imaginative or adaptable to change as it might have been. Politicians and public were challenged to admit that they had not matched expectations with resources. Greater realism now exists about the damaging irrelevance of market ideology to health care, with its bureaucracy and its inequities. Additional resources have been budgeted, although with an assumption of “efficiency savings,” which are increasingly impossible to realise without jeopardising patient care. The medical profession has reaffirmed its commitment to promote and deliver the highest possible quality of care.1

    Secondly, I called for a …

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