Privatisation of GP services not the answer to problems in healthcare - The Yorkshire Post says

Labour is looking to effectively nationalise GP services by turning family doctors into direct NHS employees. PIC: PALabour is looking to effectively nationalise GP services by turning family doctors into direct NHS employees. PIC: PA
Labour is looking to effectively nationalise GP services by turning family doctors into direct NHS employees. PIC: PA
The current crisis in the NHS has shown that fundamental reform is needed to prevent the health service from collapsing.

While the NHS has suffered from funding shortfalls, throwing more and more public money at the problem will not solve the problems that it faces.

There also needs to be a recognition that the Covid pandemic has changed the landscape of healthcare.

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However, Labour’s proposal for what is to effectively nationalise GP services by turning family doctors into direct NHS employees still leaves important questions unanswered.

The main problems are down to workforce shortages as older GPs leave and young doctors not able to cope with the added pressures. Neither the Opposition nor the Government has delivered compelling proposals to tackle this.

The advent of remote consultations with doctors, ever since the first Covid lockdown, has meant that delivery of care has changed. But there is still clearly a need for face-to-face appointments. And GPs need to ensure that they also deliver on that basis for their patients. It’s simply not possible to diagnose some ailments over the phone.

While some GP practices have struck the right balance between remote and face-to-face consultations, others haven’t.

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Cutting bureaucracy across the NHS is one way that the Government could help the NHS.

But while allowing patients to bypass GPs and self-refer themselves to specialists might sound like a good idea, caution will be needed as to what instances this would work in. The value of doctors assessing patients cannot be overlooked.