One has to admire the British Medical Association. Getting people to campaign against health service closures is easy, but it takes a particular talent to get the public to campaign against service openings.

The BMA went to Downing Street to present the prime minister with its 1.2-million-signature “Save our surgeries” petition.

Have any GPs questioned the ethics of the doctors’ trade union pressing the sick, in the environment of a surgery, to sign a petition to stop their businesses facing competition from new providers?

The BMA campaign disingenuously calls on the public to “support NHS general practice”. It trades on fear and ignorance to undermine moves to widen access, expand facilities and modernise customer care.

Let the BMA gloat while it can. The public will register its true, informed views when primary care trusts across the country open new facilities, often in deprived areas where poor GP provision helps fuel health inequalities.

Perhaps the BMA would then like to go back to those 1.2 million people and ask if they would like the new facilities demolished.