By British Medical Association, [RxPG] A list of the most critical areas for joint working in developing NHS policy has been sent to the new Secretary of State for Health by the British Medical Association.
In a letter expressing confidence in working in a constructive and positive way with the Government, Mr James Johnson, chairman of the BMA flags up what the BMA sees as the priority areas for the rest of this year.
Top of the list is involving doctors, health professionals and patients in the formulation of health policy and reforms.
Mr Johnson also calls on the new government to help people lead healthier lives, including taking measures such as banning smoking in all enclosed pubic places. Patient choice should be meaningful, relevant to patients and workable for doctors, says the letter.
The BMA wants to see recognition that private sector provision in the NHS must not destabilise the services which the NHS itself provides.
We seek to work with you on health issues in a way that produces the best outcome for patients and doctors alike writes Mr Johnson. He is seeking an early meeting with the Secretary of State for Health.
Rt Hon Ms P Hewitt
Department of Health
Dear Secretary of State,
I would like to congratulate you on your appointment at the Department of Health.
I look forward to discussions with you and your Ministers in the coming months and am confident the BMA can work with Government in a constructive and positive way. In all our dealings, we seek to work with you on health issues in a way that produces the best outcome for patients and doctors alike.
Some of my senior colleagues will be writing to you and your Ministerial team on specific issues which relate to their branches of the profession, but I wanted to flag up now what the BMA sees as the most critical areas for joint working with the Department of Health for the rest of 2005.
We believe these are:
* Involving doctors, other health professionals and patients in the formulation of health policy and reforms at the earliest opportunity.
* Improving public health and helping people to lead healthier lives in this respect our views on banning smoking in enclosed public places are well-known and we will be pressing you and the Government to take early and comprehensive action in the forthcoming Public Health Bill.
* Making patient choice meaningful and relevant to patients and workable for doctors and health professionals.
* Recognising that private sector provision in the NHS must not destabilise the services which the NHS itself provides.
* Investing further in doctors to enable them to lead improvement across the NHS.
* Giving a high priority over the next year to a successful completion to the contract negotiations for Staff and Associate Specialist doctors.
* Establishing a modern regulatory framework for the medical profession which protects the public while giving doctors confidence to practise in a climate that supports professionalism.
* Increasing the UKs self-sufficiency in doctors, nurses and other health professionals.
Chairman of Council
British Medical Association
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