The British Medical Association (BMA) yesterday angrily rejected health minister Lord Darzi’s claims that they are ‘lagging behind’ and resistant to innovation to the detriment of patients.
A BMA spokesperson told News Line: ‘Consultants are natural innovators and enablers in the NHS, working over and above the call of duty for their patients.
‘Many find it exasperating when bureaucracy and other barriers, such as centrally-driven targets, prevent them from doing even more for the NHS.
‘The majority of senior doctors still lack very basic support, such as the right kind of IT or secretarial backing, which would release their talents and help them be even more effective for patients.’
BMA member and consultant surgeon, Anna Athow, said about Darzi’s statements yesterday: ‘In the NHS as set up in 1948, doctors were freed from the necessity of charging patients.
‘They were at liberty for the first time in history to assess and treat each patient according to their clinical needs, not according to their cash balance.
‘In the NHS, sick patients are given more time and care than well patients, which is why patients have so much respect for the medical profession.
‘Lord Darzi is determinedly pushing through the privatisation of the NHS for the Brown government, by forcing PCTs to build private polyclinics and close down GP surgeries and district general hospitals.
‘Lord Darzi is impatient that doctors do not want to give up the clinical freedom they have to treat patients according to clinical need, and do not welcome working for private companies, ISTCs and polyclinics, where the main imperative would be to make a profit for the company, and patients would be treated as customers.
‘Now that doctors are rightly resisting this privatisation onslaught, he is reduced to slandering them.
‘Staff should take heart and fight even harder to defend our NHS.’