Medicopolitical Digest

Health minister writes to all GPsEnglish health authorities get cash boostNHS appoints “fraudbuster”Minister admits defence medicine is a sorry messAntibiotics are not a miracle cure

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 08 November 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:1240

Health minister writes to all GPs

The health minister, Alan Milburn, has written to all GPs in England reassuring them of the government's commitment to improving primary care and of their vital role.

Mr Milburn says that the proposals for pilot schemes under the NHS (Primary Care) Act provide an opportunity for GPs to develop and test new NHS primary care organisations. He believes that some of these will help improve access to primary care and promote better integration of primary and community teams.

The minister has told GPs that without primary legislation it will not be possible to give local medical committees (LMCs) the statutory responsibility to represent all GPs who take part in pilots. But he would encourage LMCs to coopt GP representatives involved in piloting on to their committees.

GPs who do not take part in pilots will also have new opportunities. Under section 36 of the act health authorities will have greater flexibility to improve the quality and responsiveness of general medical services. In his letter Mr Milburn says that the health department has been …

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