The BMA opposed the creation of the NHS sixty years ago, but are today strongly defending it from damaging “reforms”.
From the FT:
The NHS in England should abandon choice, competition and other market-like mechanisms in favour of integrated care, making it more like Scotland’s health service, the British Medical Association said on Monday.
The call came as the BMA’s annual representative meeting rejected by huge majorities almost every aspect of English NHS policy – from competition and choice to use of the private sector and polyclinics.
Hamish Meldrum, the BMA’s chairman of council, said use of the market to improve healthcare “is now a peculiarly English disease”.
It is the NHS in England that “has broken away from the rest of the UK”, he said, not the other way round. Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland in particular have dropped the old Conservative internal market. Hospitals in Scotland are once again directly managed, while England’s approach has been to make them increasingly free-standing. Scotland and Wales have also thrown out routine private-sector use.
The BMA, Dr Meldrum said, “wants to see an NHS untarnished by a market economy . . . not a service run like a shoddy supermarket war. If it can be done here in Edinburgh [where the BMA is meeting] it can be done in England”.
The News Line has detailed coverage of the BMA’s meeting.