Section 30 — Section 17C arrangements: persons with whom agreements can be made

Part of Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 3:45 pm on 27th January 2010.

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Photo of David McLetchie David McLetchie Conservative 3:45 pm, 27th January 2010

We will oppose Helen Eadie's amendments 36 to 45 for the simple reason that, if the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats had the courage to support the legislation that they put through Parliament barely six years ago, as my colleague Mary Scanlon pointed out, there would be no need for the elaborate constructs that Helen Eadie has outlined.

Instead, there has been a complete failure of political will, an appalling act of political cowardice and a failure to recognise that the legislative measures that this Parliament passed in 2004 and the equivalent Westminster legislation were an integral part of the negotiation of the last GP contract, which was done on a United Kingdom basis—a contract which, it turns out, has not served the best interests of patients, particularly in relation to out-of-hours provision, while it has enriched the general practitioners who are its primary beneficiaries and who, as a result of the sucking up and pandering to them by the cabinet secretary, are now trying to close down the alternative option of other people providing superior services at less cost to the taxpayer.

The measures are all about the vested interests of people who want to preserve their monopoly of service provision at taxpayers' expense. The vested interests that the Parliament should be serving are those of the patients who are treated by the NHS, not those of a particular model of provision.