Medicopolitical Digest

Consultants plan survey of hospital crisisPrivate medical insurance growsSenior doctors consider early retirementBMA NOTICE

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 18 October 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:1024

Senior hospital doctors continue to warn that the shortage of funds, beds, and nurses will lead to a repeat of last year's crisis in the NHS.

At its meeting last week the Central Consultants and Specialists Committee decided to survey the extent of the problem. Mr James Johnson, who was re-elected unopposed as chairman, said that each year hospitals did less and less elective work for a longer period. The government's two wishes that emergencies must be given priority and that waiting lists should be reduced were, he said, incompatible.

Speakers repeated the stories reported at the BMA council earlier in the month that the winter crisis had already started (11 October, p 956).

In Miss Connie Fozzard's trust in Truro, half the list for elective surgery had been closed in August and it was proposed that there should be no non-urgent elective surgery for two weeks at Christmas. Miss Fozzard, a consultant obstetrician, expected that to creep into January.

Dr Tiz North, a consultant radiologist in Carshalton, said that during July and …

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