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BMA chairman: NHS not to blame for recession

29th June 2010

The chairman of the British Medical Association (BMA) has urged the government to avoid punishing the public sector for the economic crisis.

In his keynote speech at the BMA's annual conference in Brighton, Dr Hamish Meldrum pointed out that the NHS and other elements of the public sector are expected to bear the brunt of measures to tackle the UK's spending deficit, even though they are not directly responsible for it.

'We can't blame the public sector for the crisis caused by the world's speculators and bankers. They caused the disease; they should be given the medicine,' he told delegates.

Dr Meldrum also called for change within the NHS to make it more efficient, claiming that its market-based approach has failed and led to higher amounts of bureaucracy and 'competitive fragmentation'.

In addition, the chairman said that the public should be given more information on the real state of the NHS and offered a greater say in its future direction.

Recently, BMA GP committee chairman Dr Laurence Buckman suggested which 'wasteful' areas of the NHS should be cut, including the internal market, the GP patient survey and management consultants.

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