Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews From the Frontline

The NHS bill puts profit before patients

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 15 February 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e1082
  1. Des Spence, general practitioner, Glasgow
  1. destwo{at}

The debate around the health bill has been good, galvanising opinion like never before. Opposition by general practitioners and consultants has been presented as an attempt to preserve self interest. It is not: we have genuine anxiety that changes would irreversibly change the founding and deeply held principles of our NHS. The single greatest fear is the potential for more private medicine. It is proposed that hospital trusts could devote half their time to private practice. Also, commissioning GPs may award lucrative contract services to companies that they might own. This opens …

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