Ruffley: 4 Suffolk GP surgeries could shut to make way for polyclinics

Wednesday, 21 May, 2008

David Ruffley has today voiced his opposition to Government plans to replace local GPs' surgeries with impersonal super-surgeries known as 'polyclinics'.

It has been estimated that 1,700 family doctor surgeries could be closed down across England. Across the Suffolk PCT area 4 local GPs surgeries could make way for 'polyclinics'.

Polyclinics are little different from a small hospital, and nothing like the independent, local GP practice with just a few doctors that patients know and trust. Government Ministers are planning to end the era of local GP surgeries in almost every area.

David said:

'Our local GPs' surgeries are at the heart of our community in Suffolk. There are many vulnerable individuals who have built up a substantial level of trust with their GP and these new 'polyclinics' will make that much more difficult to achieve.

'The closure of 4 GP surgeries in Suffolk will mean that patients will have to travel further to receive treatment, which will particularly disadvantage the elderly and families with small children.

'This Government is developing a track record for eroding the lifeblood of local communities- first the Post Offices are targeted and now local GPs are in the firing line. It must stop and it must stop now; the people of Suffolk do not want polyclinics forced on them by a Prime Minister who is staggeringly out of touch with public opinion.'