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Ending “two tierism” is top priority for new health secretary

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7092.1433c (Published 17 May 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:1433
  1. John Warden, parliamentary correspondent
  1. BMJ

    An end to “two tierism” in the NHS, whereby the patients of GP fundholders receive preferential treatment, was identified last week as the top priority of the new health secretary, Frank Dobson, when he addressed senior staff at the NHS headquarters in Leeds.

    He said that his aim is to ensure that fundholders do not enjoy unfair financial advantages and that non-fundholders' patients do not suffer disadvantages. Although he did not go into detail, his plan is for hospitals to institute common waiting lists so that patients of fundholders cannot jump the queue.

    “The NHS cannot truly be called national unless every man, woman, and child in the country has equal access to high quality treatment and unless the speed with which they receive that treatment is governed solely by their clinical condition rather than the size of their GP's budget,” he declared. …

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