Magazine article Public Finance

Tesco Cool on Plan to Host GPs

Magazine article Public Finance

Tesco Cool on Plan to Host GPs

Article excerpt

Doubts have been cast on the government's plans to place GP surgeries in supermarkets to help increase the number of doctors in deprived areas.

This week Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt said four underdoctored areas in Hartlepool, Durham, Ashfield and Great Yarmouth would be the first beneficiaries of a scheme for private provision of GP services, including out-of-hours care and minor injury clinics.

Adverts for the four contracts, which will last an initial five years and be worth a total of £30m, will be placed at the end of March. Bids will be accepted from experienced health care providers, including private health care companies, groups of GPs and social enterprise companies.

Supermarkets are thought to be suitable but the biggest, Tesco, was reticent about extending its services to include GPs. A spokesman said it supported government plans to increase access but 'we currently have no plans to offer GP surgeries in store'. …

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