Underfunding to be Major Focus of LMC Conference

GP leaders convening at the LMC conference will discuss a raft of issues, including whether industrial action should be considered in the existing healthcare climate.

The general view of the LMC is that underfunding in the system has been chronic, and that this is causing untold difficulties for healthcare professionals.

Edinburgh will host the LMC conference on 18th and 19th May, and one debate on the future of Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt promises to be particularly controversial.

Healthcare experts will call for Hunt to be sacked “for presiding over the worst time in the history of the NHS, missing targets, longer waiting lists and low morale”.

Particular pressure will be put on the authorities to instigate a wide-ranging overhaul of the way that general practice is funded.

Distribution through the Carr-Hill formula is considered to be unfair by many involved with the LMC, and the conference will be an opportunity to promote an alternative arrangement.

But motions forwarded at the conference will also warn that there is no viable funding mechanism that can deliver a fair GP service until overall funding is significantly increased.

This has been perpetually stated by the General Practitioners Committee, with a statement from the authoritative organisation earlier this year indicating that general practice is currently underfunded by billions of pounds.

The validity of the existing formula, the rising cost of indemnity, and the make up of the core GP services will also be debated at this key event in the healthcare calendar.

Meanwhile, a humorous motion forwarded by Shropshire LMC illustrates the general concern within the profession regarding the state of general practice.

This motion proposes “the urgent funding of a bioengineering program designed to immediately triple-clone all UK GPs, including the recently retired, in order to facilitate our prime minister’s glorious vision of a truly 24/7 health service,” satirically outlining the belief that staffing problems are seriously hampering a general practice.

Shropshire LMC is clearly of the belief that massive amounts of additional funding must be pumped into general practice, continuing with its witty rejoinder thus:

“The project should ideally extend to exploration of the resurrection of deceased general practitioners, though conference acknowledges that some health consumers might find zombie GPs unpalatable at first (assuming they even notice the difference.) However, we believe that public fears about human cloning and the walking dead could be swiftly allayed by the persuasive powers of the undisputedly veracious Mr Jeremy Hunt”.


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