BMA urges UK govt to treat GPs with ‘same respect’ as Scotland

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By a Newsnet reporter

The BMA has said the UK government’s approach to changes for GP’s will “disadvantage” patients – at the same time urging Westminster to follow the Scottish approach.

Chairman of the BMA’s Scottish General Practitioners Committee Alan McDevitt also said Westminster’s changes would have a “negative impact on general practice in Scotland”.

GPC negotiator Dr Chaand Nagpaul said:

“We would very much hope, even at this stage, that the Government will show English GPs the same respect as Scottish GPs have been afforded.

“We find it very hard to understand why GPs in England are being discriminated against [when] there is a deal that is acceptable north of the border, which is not an imposition.”

He added:

“There is no doubt that the English imposition will not just disadvantage GPs but also patients. GPs will be overstretched an unable to manage their workload properly, and they will also be diverted from primary care into other Government initiatives thought the DESs.

“The Scottish Government will get greater productivity from GPs, because it is actually trying to work with the workforce and expressing sensitivity to the GP workforce’s perspective….I very much implore the Government to look to the Scottish approach.”

Dr Tony Grewal, medical director at Londonwide LMCs and a GP in London, said: ‘The [UK] Government is acting most unwisely, especially as GPs are the ones who are going to keep this show together.

“I would advise that if they value us and treat us with respect they will be surprised with how much we will deliver. My advice to English GPs would be to move to Scotland.”

Health and Sport committee member SNP MSP Gil Paterson said:

“The Scottish Government’s approach has been praised by the BMA and urged Westminster to follow Scotland’s lead.

“In Scotland, the SNP Government has worked hard to ensure patients receive the best care possible.

“In contrast, we’ve heard concerns that Westminster’s approach will not only disadvantage GPs but also patients – that is an unacceptable position to be in.

“Thanks goodness Scotland has control over health – improving good health is essential in order for Scotland to achieve its full potential, inequalities are an obstacle to achieving that potential.”