GPs say chronically underfunded NHS endangers patients

17 May 01
Patients' lives are being put at risk because the NHS is 'chronically understaffed and underfunded', the British Medical Association warned this week.

18 May 2001

Reporting on a snapshot survey of more than 100 GPs, the BMA said doctors' morale was at an all-time low because they felt patients were being let down. The association hopes to use the survey, Crisis in care: a GP dossier, to put pressure on the next government by equating long waiting times and poor service with recruitment and retention problems in primary care.

GPs told the BMA that patients were not getting the care they deserved because of inadequate consultation times, paperwork, a shortage of doctors, nurses and hospital beds and a lack of resources for new directives and targets.

The dossier found some patients in Cardiff were waiting six years for hip operations, while in Cumbria it took two years to see a psychologist. Emergency patients across the UK were waiting up to eight hours to be admitted to a hospital bed.

John Chisholm, the association's GPs' leader, said: 'First-rate family doctors feel their patients get a second-rate NHS service – or worse. Many doctors say they are planning to retire early,' he added.


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