Doctors are the best judges of when public resources should be used for patient care, a leading medic has declared.

Mark Porter, the BMA council chair, spoke out after the “Two Sides of the Same Coin” briefing from the NHS Confederation and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges. The health service is all too often being used for political leverage, he claimed.

That briefing also suggested that politicians can often be quick to talk about demand for services without providing extra funding, before being dismissive of any planned changes to services.

The paper claimed that revising quality and costs in the NHS is going to lead to changed services, as well as better value for money and better standards of care.

Dr Porter said this report helped underline the point that quality and safety are the primary factors in health care.

He said that doctors were inured to making decisions on the allocation of resources on a daily basis, and so the idea of politicians removing this ability from doctors was wrong.

Dr Porter also said that turning the concept of healthcare into a list of financial transactions could lead to doctors being restricted by managers who only have an eye on the bottom line.