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Views And Reviews

BMA wants to reform the reforms

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: (Published 02 April 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:922
  1. L Beecham

    “We need to reform the reforms,” the chairman of the BMA council, Dr Sandy Macara, told a press conference last week to mark the third anniversary of the NHS reforms. The association had predicted that there would be a lack of direction about the introduction of the internal market and took no pleasure in saying “we told you so.” There had to be a return to equity in the provision of health care with decisions being made on clinical grounds, Dr Macara said. The internal market would not go away and doctors had to make it work in the best interest of patients. The association is calling for a period of tranquility and for the government to listen to the people working in the service.

    Mr John Chawner, chairman of the Central Consultants and Specialists Committee, doubted whether patients were better off. Every day there were new examples of fast tracking for patients of fundholding general practitioners and waiting lists were going up for people with serious illnesses. “It is obvious to everyone except ministers that there is huge dissatisfaction in the health service,” Mr Chawner said. Managers were interfering in clinical decisions and many senior staff were frightened to speak out on behalf of patients. He believed that the reforms had destroyed the brotherhood in the service and reported that there was a motion at the annual conference of senior hospital staffs in June calling for consultants to resign from the NHS and sell their services back to hospitals. A similar proposal last year was defeated but Mr Chawner said that the CCSC would be examining possible schemes.

    General practitioners have also had to grapple with a …

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