Press release: “Call the doctor – which credit card please?” – GPs to debate private service

GPs will debate a proposal to allow privatised GP services in England today and Doctors for the NHS stands firmly against the idea.   

The BMA’s first ever LMC meeting for England GPs only will today consider a motion which would explicitly allow private GPs to operate (something the NHS currently does not permit): “Given that a number of GPs feel they can no longer operate within the NHS, conference calls on GPC England to urgently look at how these GPs can be supported to operate within a private, alternative model”.

The motion will be opposed by DFNHS member and Lancashire GP Dr David Wrigley. Posting on Facebook, Dr Wrigley made his views plain:

“I’m 100% committed to the founding principles of the NHS and how that relates to general practice – free at the point of use, funded from general taxation with no private companies involved who cream off profits for their shareholders. I’ll be speaking against this resolution.”

Doctors for the NHS Chair and consultant haematologist Dr Eric Watts added his support:

“I understand the frustrations of some colleagues but the evidence is clear that the NHS is the most cost effective system and private GP services will cost more to operate and will mean a reduced service for the most in need.

“That, in turn will mean delays in diagnosis and treatment and more ill patients with more severe illnesses. The NHS was founded to improve the health of the nation from the pre-existing private services.

“DFNHS stands firmly against any move which undermines these principles.”



Editor’s Notes

Doctors for the NHS (DFNHS) was formed in March 2015 by the NHS Consultants’ Association re-naming itself and asking GPs and medical trainees to join. It has the explicit aim of countering marketisation [1,2] of the NHS by gathering the already impressive evidence (eg, on health funding – see OECD figures below); pointing to its ill effects on NHS services and founding principles; and campaigning widely to stop then repair the damage before it is too late and cannot be reversed.

DFNHS’s press officer is Alan Taman:

07870 757 309

[email protected]


Facebook: DoctorsForTheNHS


OECD expenditure figures

These figures give the lie to the arguments that we can’t afford a publicly funded NHS  as other countries spend more public money on health services than we do.

We are 15th overall in total spend and 13th in public spending USA and 11 European countries spend more



[1] Davis, J., Lister, J. and Wrigely, D. (2015) NHS For Sale. London: Merlin Press.

Leys, C. and Player, S. (2011) The Plot Against the NHS. Pontypool: Merlin

Lister, J. (2008) The NHS After 60: For Patients or Profits? London: Middlesex University Press

Owen, D. (2014) The Health of the Nation: The NHS in Peril. York: Methuen, Chapter 4.

Player, S. (2013) ‘Ready for market’. In NHS SOS ed by Davis, J. and Tallis, R. London: Oneworld, pp.38-61.


[2] The belief that ‘competition is always best’ does not work when applied to healthcare. A comprehensive and universal health service is best funded by public donation, which has been shown to be far more efficient overall than private-insurance healthcare models

[Davis, J., Lister, J. and Wrigley, D. (2015) NHS For Sale. London: Merlin Press. Chapters 2 and 8.

Lister, J. (2013) Health Policy Reform: global health versus private profit. Libri: Faringdon.

Pollock, A. and Price, D. (2013) In NHS SOS, ed by Davis, J. and Tallis, R. Oneworld: London, 174.]

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