Thursday, June 12, 2008

Private Pickle Over Polyclinics

Health secretary, Alan Johnson, has been keeping his head down, since his empty promise to 'Deep Clean' hospitals and get rid of those nasty super bugs. Now he's in a pickle over poly-clinics, facing the wrath of doctors and patients over New Labour's plans for private super-surgeries.

Johnson, the former postie, is just delivering the message. The privatisation plan is the brain-child of one of Brown's GOATS, Prof Lord Sir Baron Ari Darzi of Denham, (no kidding), the surgeon-turned-health minister who's now taken the knife to the NHS.

The British Medical Association is due to hand in a petition to Downing Street today signed by hundreds of thousands of patients (over a million according to the BBC/Telegraph) objecting to the 'threat to close' their local GPs' surgeries.

There's something reasuring about popping down to your cosy GP surgery when you're not well and having a chat with a doctor who knows you and your family history. It makes you feel better already.

Not so with this latest Big Idea. These are mega-clinics - up to 25 GPs in a huge building - and no doubt all run and owned by private health care companies.

When will it all end? Will Brown ever listen to the warning signs or is he just in self-destruct mode?

After the 10p tax fiasco and the 42 days detention debacle, Brown is now set to do battle with the doctors and more importantly the patients.

Picture: Tim Sanders

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