July 29 2014 Latest news:
Kay Atwal, Chief Reporter
Thursday, June 26, 2014
A campaign concerned at the possible closure of GP surgeries in Newham has organised a rally to coincide with the anniversary of the birth of the NHS in 1948 to highlight the issue.
Newham ‘Save our Surgeries’ is concerned that many doctors surgeries in the borough are under threat of closure or cuts to their budgets due to government changes in the way that General Practice is funded. Among those that could be affected is Westbury Road medical practice off Green Street in Upton Park which the campiagn believes could be facing budget cuts.
To draw attention to government plans to phase out extra payments introduced in 2004 to surgeries in deprived areas with a high turnover of patients the campiagn has organised a rally and procession to take place on Saturday July 5 at Stratford station. at 11.30am, with a rally at noon. It will coincide with the birth of the NHS on July 5 1948 and is expected to inlcude politicians, health workers and GPs.
An open topped bus will then take campaigners down Green Street with leafleting on the way. The bus will go to Aftab Ali Park in Tower Hamlets and then to London Fields in Hackney. Hackney and Tower Hamlets are also expect to hold similar rallies.
Dr Ron Singer, a retired GP said: “Many GP practices in Newham will have their income reduced because the government has decided to make cuts in practice funding. Under a ‘Fair Share’ policy 98 practices in England holding national contracts – including some in Newham - will lose so much funding by having their Minimun Practice Income Guarantee (MPIG) removed that may have to close down.
“Which practices are threatened has not been revealed by NHS England which is adding to the anxiety felt by Newham practices. More funding cuts to practices which hold local contracts are also threatened. Practices in Hackney and Tower Hamlets face similar cuts.”