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'Wasteful' NHS areas should be cut

11th June 2010

A leading UK doctor has suggested a number of areas that could be cut in the NHS to save money.

Dr Laurence Buckman, chairman of the British Medical Association's (BMA) GP committee, told the annual Local Medical Committees conference that several areas of NHS spending can be 'consigned to the dustbin of history'.

He pointed out that private finance initiatives, or PFIs, will fund more than 100 hospital schemes with a combined value of GBP 10.9 billion but leave the taxpayer with a GBP 62.6 billion bill by 2048.

In addition, he claimed money is wasted on management consultants, saying public sector health bodies spend more than GBP 300 million a year on external help.

Dr Buckman also suggested that the NHS internal market, the GP patient survey and some tiers of the organisation's management are wasteful and could safely be scrapped.

'We, and our hospital colleagues, will all need to pull together in order to agree, if we can, what can stop without damaging patient care,' he told the conference.

Last month, the BMA called on health secretary Andrew Lansley to work with the medical profession to ensure that public spending cuts do not damage frontline services.

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