Time to give doctors their freedom

David Hare, boss of the independent hospitals’ national body, gives this message to Independent Practitioner Today readers:

‘We are doing everything we can to release private practice and get more private consultants back to work’

One of the paradoxes of the coronavirus pandemic has been that healthcare has been blowing hot and cold. 

While in some ways the health service has never been busier – dealing with thousands of hospital admissions for Covid-19 in what undoubtedly represents the biggest healthcare challenge in a century – in many ways, it has been a time of mass underutilisation of health services.

Indeed, the most recent NHS performance figures – the first to show the impact of lockdown on the health service – have demonstrated astonishing falls in the number of GP appointments.

There has been a 70% drop in the number of people referred for routine elective care compared to the same period last year, a plummeting in the number of diagnostic tests being carried out and rapid falls in A&E attendances.   

To coin the phrase of the pandemic – these are unprecedented times. And no more so than for many independent doctors.