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Labour wants GPs to treat diabetes, arthritis and asthma

GPs will provide a wider range of services, taking in areas which were once the preserve of traditional hospital care under government plans unveiled today.

This seems like an excellent idea, given how many GPs we have sitting around doing nothing. When I phone my GP, he practically begs me to come down because he’s bored out of his brain.

But seriously, how does John ‘Attack Dog’ Reid really expect to be able to squeeze even more people into the GP queue, especially when he’s busy encouraging GPs to aboloish their appointment systems? People with chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis (RA) inevitably need regular care, which lends itself to an appointment system, not the “phone-up-on-the-day” system that Reid is advocating for GP Practices in order to meet his waiting list targets.

At the same time as announcing a whole raft of new responsibilities for GPs to take on, he’s also announcing

I want to free up our GPs to be all they can be in providing services of a wider range, more conveniently, to patients.

And don’t forget today’s other NHS story:

The NHS is failing to provide adequate family doctor services for patients needing emergency care outside of normal office hours, it emerged today.

So, to summarise, we don’t have enough GPs to go around. Labour’s way of fixing this is to force a whole new set of responsibilities and patients onto GPs, hence freeing them up to provide better services more conveniently to patients.

And Labour say the Conservatives’ plans don’t add up.

This post was filed under: Election 2005.

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