Local medical commitee conferenceBMJ 1997; 314 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7098.1911 (Published 28 June 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:1911
GPs' chairman calls for unity
Calling for unity among GPs, the chairman of the General Medical Services Committee warned that internal division would cause the national family doctor service to disintegrate.
In his last address to the local medical committee (LMC) conference Dr Ian Bogle, who will stand down as GMSC chairman next month, said that only if they were united would GPs be able to influence the government and help to shape the future of general practice. “We must frustrate any intention to return to a secondary care dominated NHS. We must recreate a quality of professional life that will attract young doctors back to our calling and make others think twice before leaving,” he said.
Reality and equity were the other important principles to be adhered to if general practice was to be revitalised. The government and society had to face up to the reality of what the job of a GP was and was not. “Our job,” Dr Bogle said, “is about caring for people and acting as their advocate.” It was not the job of GPs to serve as policemen, whether on behalf of the benefits system, employers, or the insurance industry, or to act as the government's tax collectors.
The GMSC chairman told the conference that it was totally unacceptable that patient access to NHS care should depend on such arbitrary factors as which side of the road they lived. “Our health service must be based on a genuine equity of access, not health care by postcode.” But this, he said, could be achieved only if the government increased resources for primary care. It must not be achieved by levelling down services to match the current underfunding.
The review body should resign
The meeting resolved that it had no confidence in the review body and called for its resignation by 146 votes to 145. It …