This demonstration is in support of surgeries in Tower Hamlets as well as Newham and Hackney that are facing budget cuts and as a result they may be forced to close soon.
You can also show your support by signing the online petition, please click on the following link: https://you.38degrees.
Due to Government changes in the way that General Practice is funded some inner city and rural practices in England will suffer big budget cuts from April 2014. Minimum Practice Income Guarantee (MPIG) was brought in 2004 to ensure that practices in deprived areas with a high turnover of patients were adequately funded to deliver high quality General Practice services.
All of the evidence shows that one of the biggest factors affecting health outcomes is deprivation. However, the Government are phasing MPIG out over the next seven years. Less weight will be given to deprivation and more to age. This means that Tower Hamlets, which is one of the most deprived areas of the country, loses out to more affluent areas with a greater proportion of elderly patients, even though the high levels of deprivation in Tower Hamlets means that more people here have serious long term illnesses at a much younger age.
Cuts in funding to General Practice will mean cuts in the services that your surgery is able to offer you and your family.
For example, Jubilee Street Practice is a large, award winning practice on Commercial Road. They have some of the best outcomes in the country for many chronic diseases and patient satisfaction levels of over 90%. Due to the phasing out of MPIG they have calculated that they will lose nearly £1 million over the next seven years. This means that services will get cut and the surgery is at risk of closure.
THIS CANNOT BE ALLOWED TO HAPPEN! A THREAT TO ONE IS A THREAT TO ALL!
There are 98 GP practices in England that are as badly affected by MPIG as Jubilee Street, many of these are in London and five are in Tower Hamlets. Other practices in the borough are also feeling the strain. If five practices are forced to cutback or close there will inevitably be more pressure on the rest, risking collapse of the whole system and opening up the possibility that our GP services will be taken over by private providers such as Virgin or Care UK.
This comes amidst a climate of huge cuts to the whole of NHS funding and creeping privatization of NHS services. Privatization leads to poorly paid staff and services cut to the bone in order to make a profit for shareholders.
The NHS is the best loved institution in Britain, even more so than the monarchy. Despite what we are told, the NHS is one of the most cost effective health care services in the developed world and there is plenty of money in society to pay for it. It is the envy of other nations. Since 1948 it has been there for all of us when we have needed it, regardless of ability to pay, from the cradle to the grave