Doctors for Reform
Doctors for Reform describes itself as "an independent, non-party group which believes that the time has come to look at new ways to supply and fund healthcare." Its stated aim is to "participate in a proper and informed national debate on the choices ahead us." It is supported by the free market think tank Reform. It claims to have a membership of 1000 medical practitioners.
A press release in 2010 called for the following changes to the NHS:
- Universal coverage with an insurance element. Our current system provides universal coverage but would benefit from having an insurance element so that no-one would receive sub-standard care.
- Topping up the basic level of care. The NHS should allow patients to spend their own money on treatment provided by either the independent sector or the NHS, where it might make a charge for treatments not normally available.
- Supply competition. Patients should be allowed to exercise real, informed choice about where, how and by whom they are treated.
Doctors for Reform says it "is funded by private donations."
Doctors for Reform held a pre-election health policy conference, called The Future of Health, in June 2009: "A series of keynote speeches and discussion sessions – including health spokesmen from all three major parties examined how the UK could deliver 21st century standards of care in an era of rising demand and financial crisis." Speakers included: Ben Bradshaw, then Minister of State for Health Services; Norman Lamb, then Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for Health and the now Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley. Also speaking were: Simon Stevens, President of Global Health, UnitedHealth Group; Adrian Fawcett CEO of General Healthcare Group and Alan Downey, UK Head of Healthcare, at KPMG.
Doctors for Reform Steering Committee members include:
- Dr Paul Charlson is a GP and founder of a private centre which specialises in cosmetic anti aging treatments. Dr Charlson is also involved with a number of other lobby groups: He is Chair of the Conservative Medical Society and a director of lobby group 2020health.
- Professor Karol Sikora, Medical Director of CancerPartnersUK, which runs private cancer treatment centres in the UK. A CancerPartnersUK report 'Radiotherapy – A radical plan for Britain', published in September 2010 and co-authored by Sikora, called on the government to show its support for private cancer treatment. Sikora said: "“Opening up the NHS to new providers of services has never been more important and transforming the provision of cancer care requires imaginative solutions."
- Dr Maurice Slevin, Consultant Medical Oncologist and one of the four founder partners of the private Harley Street clinic, the London Oncology Clinic. In 2003 he produced a pamphlet "Resuscitating the NHS" for the Centre for Policy Studies.
- Westbourne Communications was behind the launch of this group.
- Doctors for Reform, Join Us, accessed Dec 2010
- Doctors for Reform, Events: The Future of Health, accessed Dec 2010
- Qure ('cosmetic anti ageing treatments with a qualified doctor'), About Us, accessed October 2010
- CancerPartnersUK, CancerPartnersUK is lobbying MPs and health officials about the poor state of radiotherapy services in the UK, Sept 2010
- Maurice Slevin London Oncology Clinic, accessed Oct 2010