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Scottish Government urged not to ban private firms providing GP services

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The Scottish Government is being urged not to ban private firms from providing GP services amid fears patients could miss out on more `innovative` services which respond to their needs.

Under the proposed Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Bill, the independent sector will be banned from providing NHS health care after concerns were raised it could lead to `profits being put before patients`.

But business chiefs have said introducing the measure, which is currently being scrutinised by Holyrood’s Health and Sport committee, will `let down the public`.

A submission to MSPs by CBI Scotland said: `The CBI rejects this notion, and believes that a wider range of private and voluntary organisations are well positioned to deliver better services because of their experience and understanding of people’s needs.`

It added that patients have more choice and will be more satisfied with treatments if private and public sectors are allowed to deliver healthcare.

According to the submission, a number of CBI members offer a `broad spectrum` healthcare services to the NHS across the UK, including walk-in centres.

But public health minister Shona Robison told Parliament that funding that had been made available to foster the private sector has now been `repatriated` to NHS boards for investment in direct patient care.

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