Socialist Worker

GPs are not to blame for A&E crisis

by Jackie Turner, GP in east London
Issue No. 2355

Health minister Jeremy Hunt blamed the crisis in A&Es on GPs’ lack of out of hours (OOH) care last week.

But many doctors work 14 hour days and 40 percent still provide OOH care. 

Those who don’t do this pay to delegate it—and are often as unhappy with the service provided as patients are.

In Hackney, east London, GPs wanted to take OOH back from the private provider Harmoni because they were so unhappy with it. 

But under new rules GPs are now required to tender against giant health companies—and they would probably lose. 

At the British Medical Association conference last week we voted to demand an independent inquiry into the new non-emergency 111 service. 

It has only added to the problems because its call handlers are not clinicians and patients are often directed to A&E. Hunt’s new attack is just an attempt to cover up that it is the government’s cuts that have caused the crisis in A&Es. 

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Tue 28 May 2013, 17:53 BST
Issue No. 2355
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