GPs have blamed under-resourcing and recruitment difficulties as surgery closures across the UK reach an all- time high, affecting an estimated half a million patients last year. According to research by the medical website Pulse, 138 surgeries shut their doors in 2018, compared with just 18 in 2013.
Data released under freedom of information by 186 out of 217 clinical commissioning groups and health boards revealed that smaller surgeries – those serving 5,000 or fewer patients – were the worst affected in 2018, accounting for 86% of closures.
One doctor told how after 26 years he gave up his GP surgery in Brighton, where he and his partner were run off their feet looking after 6,500 patients. “The money was just falling away,” he said. “We gave the staff six months’ notice and we walked away.” NHS England said its figures showed fewer practice closures and patient dispersals in 2017/18 compared with 2016/17. But those figures are only for England, and cover the financial year, whereas Pulse’s figures cover the whole UK and calendar years. ( The Guardian, 31 May 2018)
What the British government is doing is accepted conservative practice – starve the beast and replace it with contracts offered to private companies. Much of the current health privatisation benefits large American corporations, who may reward politicians financially at an appropriate moment (no, I am not inferring corruption. Corruption is in the eye of the beholder. Use your own judgment). Whatever health experts in the US claim, the British NHS has done a fantastic job on ( in comparison with the US, with limited resources. As service declines so the public is expected to support private intervention. It’s a form of malicious robbery, if that isn’r a tautology.