Profits before Patients - the new ICS System
American company Centene via it's UK subsiduary Operose Health, runs the biggeste group of GP surgeriess in the UK; mostly based in London. The company has almost 600,000 NHS patients on its list.
In order to ensure profit, they are employing Physisian Assistants rather than fully trained and experienced doctors!
This is based on the US practice widely used to ensure maximising profit, by replacing doctors with people trained only for 2 years as opposed to the normal 10 years of training and experience.
BBC News explains:
Physician associates were first introduced by the NHS in 2003, so that doctors could deal with more complex patient needs. Their introduction was based on a US model and has been adopted in various other countries.
PAs are healthcare professionals who have completed two years of post-graduate studies on top of a science degree, as opposed to 10 years education and training for GPs. They support GPs in the diagnosis and management of patients, but should have oversight from a doctor.
Tonight, BBC's Panorama programme at 8pm investigates.