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BMA chairman has seven point plan for NHS

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: (Published 16 April 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:1045
  1. L Beecham

    The chairman of the BMA council, Dr Sandy Macara, has proposed a seven point plan to help repair some of the damage which he believes has been done to the NHS by the internal market and the development of a two tier service. “There is despair about the fragmentation of the NHS as competition vanquishes cooperation and privatisation looms large,” he told the BMA's Junior Members Forum at its meeting in Edinburgh last weekend.

    All sections of the profession were concerned about the future, Dr Macara said. Students were uncertain about their future careers. Although junior doctors' hours were coming down they were faced with shorter, more intensive training and inadequate consultant expansion. Senior hospital doctors were facing ambitious managers and desperate purchasers strapped for cash. General practitioners have had to cope with a 10% increase in workload and face ever increasing out of hours demands fuelled by the patient's charter. Public health physicians had largely become prisoners of an ideological system which had been their historic duty to challenge, and clinical academic staff were being crippled by performance norms which distorted the balance between teaching, research, and service.

    The BMA chairman proposes that the profession should resurrect and reinstate a consensus about its aims and objectives. As a general confession it should join with the government, managers, and the public in declaring its failings and shortcomings.

    Secondly, there was a need to restore the objectives which underpinned the consensus, and the profession could use the aims in the Health of the Nation to achieve this.

    Thirdly, the profession …

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