Beware Of Threat To GP Surgeries

PUBLISHED: 10:37 04 November 2008 | UPDATED: 10:35 04 May 2010

PETER Roberts letter in the Ely Standard of October 30 implies that the fact that at present only one polyclinic is planned for Cambridgeshire means that there is therefore no threat to existing GP surgeries. This is far from the truth and he makes no me

PETER Roberts' letter in the Ely Standard of October 30 implies that the fact that at present only one polyclinic is planned for Cambridgeshire means that there is therefore no threat to existing GP surgeries. This is far from the truth and he makes no mention of the fact that the Government is aggressively pursuing policies which will destabilise existing practices and change the relationship between patients and their doctors. The situation which existed until recently at the Octagon and Lantern Surgeries (now combined as the Cathedral Practice) in Ely is a case in point.

While this may be of little consequence to occasional users of the service as there will always be a doctor to see, it will have a very negative effect on those who value continuity of care and a relationship built up over time.

The Government is unequivocally favouring big businesses over small presumably because of the lobbying power of big business.

The upcoming Pharmacy White Paper is a good example of this and is set to abolish all dispensing by GP surgeries even though they are more cost effective than the large pharmacies and supermarkets who will be the main beneficiaries of this legislation. It will also have the effect of destabilising those surgeries concerned. It is entirely possible that some surgeries in rural areas will close. Cambridgeshire is largely rural. This is from a government that is allegedly pro "choice" for patients. If it was really thus then it would give all patients the option of having their surgeries dispense rather than forcing many of them into their cars to visit pharmacies which may be some distance away.

DR JOHN CRAWFORD

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