Medicopolitical Digest

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BMJ 1996; 312 doi: (Published 08 June 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:1483
  1. Linda Beecham

    Funding for AIDS treatment critisised

    The BMA and the National Association of Providers of AIDS Care and Treatment (PACT) has criticised the government's decision to reduce the amount of funding for prevention and treating and caring for people with AIDS at a time when caseloads are expected to increase by 5.9%.

    PACT says that the cut of £10m will undermine the care of patients, create inequality in treatment, and reduce the availability of proven therapies and the help given to those at highest risk, such as prostitutes. Treatment of other sexually transmitted diseases could also be threatened and more pressure created elsewhere in the health service.

    At a joint press conference with the BMA the chairman of PACT, Professor Anthony Pinching, said that the funding had been worked out on the basis that the projected caseload was not as bad as previously estimated. But he claimed that the real workload was still increasing. “We are being asked to do more for less.” The cuts failed to take account of the increased costs of new treatments.

    Another member of PACT, Professor Michael Adler, said that the cuts would have a “very profound effect” on Britain's ability to control the spread of HIV. He said that in London, where there was a concentration of AIDS care, two centres were not replacing staff as a result of the cuts.

    The Department of Health said that £158m had been provided for the cost of treatment and care this year …

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