Tuesday, 13 May 2008


There is a letter in today's Guardian from the Deputy chair of the BMA patient liaison group, which skirts around the issue, but seems to oppose the introduction of polyclinics on the curious basis that they will damage the relationship between patients and their GPs. Why this should be the case escapes me, but no matter.

In a complicated world, where there often isn't enough time to examine and consider arguments on both sides of an issue, I have found that a decent rule of thumb is that whatever the BMA opposes is likely to be something that deserves support. There are numerous examples, such as: access to doctors outside normal working hours, implementation of decent IT systems in the NHS, alternative models of primary care, and the like.

However, now I find on their web site that they favour cycling, and think that the use of cycle helmets should be encouraged, but not imposed. These seem to be eminently sensible views, so maybe I need to refine my rule of thumb. Since these policies seem to date from several years ago, perhaps it is only more recently that the BMA has lost the plot. Or could it be that they sometimes speak for the interests of members, not those of the public.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The normal rules don't apply to people and their thoughts on bicycles; example i), Boris Johnson; example ii) Anne Atkins http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/programmes/thought/documents/t20041124.shtml