Medicopolitical Digest

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BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 29 November 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:1471

Consultants' leaders repeat warning about BUPA partnership

The chairman of the BMA's consultants' committee, Mr James Johnson, has written to all consultants in the United Kingdom emphasising the BMA's views that the partnership scheme proposed by the British United Provident Association (BUPA) “is not in the interests of doctors, patients, or private medicine.”

In a joint letter with the chairman of the private practice committee, Mr Derek Machin, Mr Johnson advises consultants “in the strongest possible terms” not to join the partnership scheme and if they have done so to resign. Under the scheme, BUPA has offered doctors an annual bonus on their private earnings if they agree to charge patients within a fee scale and treat them only in BUPA recommended hospitals. The association declined to increase its fees.

Negotiations have taken place between the BMA and BUPA, but the latter has refused to change the scheme. The BMA's letter points out that many doctors have written to the association supporting the line it is taking. The BMA maintains that it is unacceptable that …

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