BMA's Dr Mark Porter and MP Mark Simmons on health bill

The Health and Social Care Bill could see groups of GPs handed the responsibility, and money, for commissioning health care for their patients with private companies allowed to provide more services.

Dr Mark Porter, who chairs the BMA's consultants' committee, explained his "serious concerns" about the thrust and speed of the bill, and feared the "NHS could be damaged by turning it into a marketplace".

Conservative MP Mark Simmons said GPs had a "real hunger for taking controls of budgets", while pollster Deborah Mattinson explained surveys showed the public are confused by the possible changes.

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