The chair of the Royal College of GPs has laid into the money-grubbing logic behind the latest NHS reforms.
Dr Clare Gerada told 1,500 GPs gathered in Liverpool, “I worry we’re heading towards a situation where healthcare will be like a budget airline.
“There will be two queues—one for those who can afford to pay and another for those who can’t. Seats will be limited to those who muscle in first. And the rest will be left stranded on the tarmac.”
She went on, “In this brave new world it’s the market—led by chief executives, shareholders and accountants—that will be in charge, not doctors.
“How long will it be before we find ourselves injecting a patient’s knee joint at Injections-R-Us plc instead of referring to a surgeon for a knee replacement?”
The British Medical Association issued a statement saying that “in general, we would agree with Clare Gerada’s comments”.
Health secretary Andrew Lansley later addressed the conference. But Dr Gerada was not impressed.
“I did not hear enough acknowledgement from Mr Lansley of the need to address our concerns,” she said.