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GP leaders reject “venomous” language that “condemns” physician associates

BMJ 2024; 385 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.q1162 (Published 24 May 2024) Cite this as: BMJ 2024;385:q1162
  1. Jennifer Richardson
  1. The BMJ

Local GP leaders have persuaded their peers to reject “venomous” and “patronising” language that “condemns” physician associates (PAs), at the annual conference of UK local medical committees (LMCs).

The conference overwhelmingly carried a motion stating that it “has increasing concerns about the development and promotion of PAs in general practice.” But a sub-motion stating that it “condemns the use of PAs in general practice for anything other than administrative or simple procedural duties” was lost.

Four speakers spoke against the motion—all specifically against sub-motion—at the 2024 BMA conference held in Newport, Wales, on 24 May. “Who do we condemn?” asked Hussain Gandhi of Nottinghamshire LMC. “Do we condemn PAs for existing, following what has been offered to them? Do we condemn practices for employing them based on what they’ve been asked to do?”

Gandhi said the “venom” of the PA debate “worried” him, adding, “It’s the same way I heard people speak about my parents when they came to this country. Why are we making PAs the scapegoat for the fact that general practice …

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