Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Martini-style Health Care

Every local Primary Care Trust in England has been told that it has to have at least one new “GP-led heath centre” as part of the review of the NHS being conducted by Lord Darzi of Denham. These will have family doctors and nurses working in teams, and perhaps also provide services such as pharmacy, dentistry and minor surgery, The Times reports.

The private sector is being encouraged to run these centres. Companies like Virgin, United Health and supermarket chains like Sainsbury's will be offered contracts to finance 'higher quality' services such as extended opening hours. The commercialisation means small doctor's surgeries would lose patients and might have to close.

The 'super-surgeries' or polyclinics could mean the end of family doctors. The Martini-style health care - anytime, anywhere, any doctor - means patients will see a different doctor every time and have to explain their history all over again, while shutting down local surgeries in rural areas means the elderly and the sick will have to travel long distances to receive health care.

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