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J R Coll Physicians Lond. 1992 Oct;26(4):437-41.

Genetics in the reformed health service. Changes for the better?

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University of Manchester.


The practical value of medical genetics, in particular the development of molecular genetics complemented by clinical diagnosis and counselling, is widely recognised. There is strong independent support from government and patient organisations for augmenting genetics services in all health regions; this support gives much reason for optimism. But there appears to be a hiatus following the reform of the Health Service: no genetics centre has, as yet, adequate resources and there has been no increase in clinical genetic manpower in the last two years. Even worse, Wales and at least one English region have devolved genetic services to districts, which appears to be contrary to government policy for genetic services. These factors have inevitably limited the implementation of many opportunities for improved patient care and the prevention of genetic disease. However, medical geneticists, assisted by the Royal College of Physicians and others, want to respond positively to the changes in the Health Service. Recommendations are made for strategies which promise to maintain integrated regional clinical and laboratory services and to achieve well evaluated developments.

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