The government has announced that under its plans to reform the NHS, doctors and GPs will no longer be involved in the diagnosis and treatment of patients.
Instead, patients will now be handed over to private assessment companies run by administrators who will assess patients’ needs using a computer programme.
In a statement on the reforms, the welfare minister, Lord Freud explained:
This government is committed to freeing up doctors’ time so they can get on with more important aspects of their job, such as making bagloads of money, without the distractions of having to deal with patients.
A spokesperson for the government explained the policy is a logical extension of its strategy to give GPs control over their budgets, so they will be free to rip patients off as they see fit without government interference:
It’s important that doctors and GPs in particular are allowed to decide for themselves how much the private healthcare and pharmaceutical companies they work for can charge patients as they know better than anyone how much their patients can be fleeced.
A spokesperson for the British Medical Association, the organisation which represents doctors’ and GPs’ interests, cautiously welcomed the new policy, saying:
For many years GPs and other healthcare professionals have been telling the government that far too much of our time is spent on beaurocratic procedures such as diagnosing illnesses and paperwork such as writing out prescriptions for patients. It’s obvious that we cannot be expected to do our jobs as doctors efficiently, if we keep on having to deal with sick people all of the time.
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