Scotland's first minister has pledged to introduce a health bill that will include measures to prevent commercial companies providing GP services in Scotland.
In a statement to the Scottish Parliament yesterday (3 September 2008), Alex Salmond (pictured) set out the government's priorities for the year ahead.
He said: "In the coming year we will introduce a Health Bill. One objective of the Bill will be to help ensure that the future of GP services in Scotland remains within the NHS family and firmly rooted in the traditions of general practice."
BMA Scotland welcomed the announcement. Dr Brian Keighley, deputy chairman of the BMA in Scotland, said: "The measures announced today by the first minister to protect NHS general practice reflect the importance of general practice as the cornerstone of the NHS.
"General practice, delivered under the auspices of the NHS, will ensure that patient care comes before profit and patients can be assured of continuity of care.
"In order to maintain services to patients, however, the Scottish government must ensure that it develops and delivers a clear strategy for general practice in partnership with the profession."