Money for the NHS is being wasted by politicians who are paying private companies, the British Medical Association (BMA) warns.
The BMA has unveiled its 10 New Year's resolutions, saying that taxpayers' money should be invested in valuable NHS services rather than being spent unnecessarily.
Chairman Hamish Meldrum (pictured) said: "These scarce resources should be invested in the NHS where they will provide better value for money and help more patients."
Also on the list is stopping cuts to frontline services, setting a minimum price for a unit of alcohol to cut binge drinking, stopping people smoking and investing in medical research.
Dr Meldrum said: "The political parties have been grappling with the current financial crisis and cuts in the public sector are being proposed from 2010 onwards.
"The BMA is calling on politicians to resist the false economy of making quick savings by cutting frontline NHS services.
"Instead we urge them to use our resolutions to protect and improve the health service."
Dr Meldrum said the government needs to value doctors and invest in education and training.
He added: "The NHS is currently running at full capacity.
"Recessions add to the burden on the NHS and the unexpected is always around the corner. The health service needs to be prepared for all eventualities.
"Looking ahead to 2010, the BMA also wants the government to focus on wider public health issues including alcohol misuse, tobacco control and obesity."
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