Dr David Wrigley has been elected BMA deputy chairman; and it is notable that the incumbent is a staunch critic of NHS privatisation who has made strong criticisms of government policy.
The GPC member takes over the role from retired Manchester GP Dr Kailash Chand.
Wrigley has gone as far as accusing the government of starving the health service of funding, and causing the existing crisis in the NHS.
Indeed, speaking at LMCs annual conference in May, Wrigley had spoken very strongly on Government policy and the existing financial situation of the NHS.
“Our politicians are starving the NHS of funds and destroying it. Direct your anger to the politicians. The BMA should be shouting from the rooftops about this.”
The Lancashire GP indicated his delight to have been elected to the role by the BMA council, describing it as an honour.
Wrigley is also chairman of the Doctors in Unite / Medical Practitioners Union.
It is notable that this prominent individual in the British healthcare system had been re-elected to the council of this organisation having campaigned strongly against the health reforms put in place by the existing Conservative government.
Additionally, Ridley has even been critical of the failures of the British Medical Association to prevent what he perceives to be the slashing of funding for the health service.
Commenting on his appointment, Wrigley indicated that he would place a particular emphasis on uniting the profession, and discuss the relationship between the British Medical Association and the NHS.
“The NHS and the profession are under great strain with funding cuts. It is very important that the BMA protects and defends the NHS.”
Wrigley also indicated that he would strongly support junior doctors in the ongoing contract dispute with government, and was explicitly critical of the conduct of the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt in this matter.
“It is quite clear that the contract isn’t acceptable for the majority of juniors, and Jeremy Hunt needs to hear that.”
The incoming deputy chairman also believes that the BMA council should do more to support the General Practitioners Committee.
Wrigley identified the current time as being a critical one for general practice, and suggested that the council of the British Medical Association must show more solidarity with general practitioners in this challenging climate.
The new deputy chairman has co-authored two books about the NHS, namely “NHS for Sale” and “NHS SOS”, with BMA council colleage Dr Jacky Davis and others.