Let's face it, seeing a GP in person is vital for our health
Daily Express|October 15, 2021
‘In truth, the NHS has pushed for years for remote appointments’
Ross Clark Political commentator

WHEN asked how he had persuaded family doctors to agree to the foundation of the NHS, Labour’s post-war health minister Nye Bevan declared that he had “stuffed their mouths with gold”. The offer by the current Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, of £250million to help GPs maintain appointments through what could be a difficult winter isn’t exactly emptying the contents of Fort Knox, but it is nevertheless a substantial sum.

At the very least, you might expect the doctors’ union, the BMA, to welcome the money and to agree to the condition that Javid has put upon it – which is that surgeries must hit targets for face-to-face appointments. But sadly that is not how things work at the BMA.

Rather, spokesman Dr Richard Vautrey said he was “hugely dismayed” by the offer, accusing the Government of being “out of touch” and adding “it is disappointing to see there is no end in sight to the preoccupation with face-to-face appointments”.

If the BMA think that wanting to see a doctor in the flesh is just a preoccupation of the Government, then sorry, it is they who are out of touch. An online petition on the website Change.org demanding that GPs restart face-to-face appointments has so far gathered 560,000 signatures.

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