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I was listening to Jeremy Vine, just before lunch, discussing the suggestion(?) that people should pay to see their GPs either of an evening, out of hours or for home visits.
Whilst I recognise that GPs have private lives, I find it harder to get appointments at any time during the shorter working week and working days currently operated. This, along with the substantial pay increases enjoyed recently, is not endearing me to their cause. From my experience people don`t go to their doctor`s surgery for no reason - generally they are ill.
To expect people to pay makes a mockery of the "free at the point of need" statement and will do little to ease the load on hospital Accident and Emergency Departments.
Further (and cynically), paying to go and see a GP makes it a little like going to a theme park where you are far from certain you`ll get on a ride.
What do you think?
GP's are already charging for certain services, like £15/£20 for signing a passport application or insurance claim consultation at a far dearer fee. I wonder if this is one of the reasons why our surgery now takes 3/6 days for repeat prescriptions, when a couple of years ago, it took 1/2 days at the most.
One of our original doctor's as just retired from full time employment, he was well into his 60's, and still doe's the occasional day when one of the other doctor's are absent. Six years ago, we had a 'new' doctor, he as just announced that he will retire within the next six month's, He's 53 years old!.
OK, but where is the thread?
I don`t have a problem with GPs charging for non-NHS work provided it isn`t at the expense of NHS `customers` or in NHS time. What really riles me is paying twice for poor service by someone who was trained at taxpayers expense (largely) and is paid an extremely good salary for the work they are supposed to do.
Whilst I have no doubt there are conscientious and hard working GPs out there, it would appear there are also a proportion who treat the NHS and its patience as some form of `gravy train`. If people like that were to be in industry with a decent manager over them they would soon get a talking to (or worse).
"Pay to see your doctor?"
What's so unusual about that? You already pay to see your dentist.
I paid £15.90 today for a bog-standard check up with my NHS dentist.
I must have been in the chair for all of 4 minutes!
It's about time patients started to take some responsibility for the state of the health service. Their behaviour costs money too.
The number of appointments made and which remain unattended costs an enormous amount of money. e.g. a missed appointment by one of my patients (a forty minute appointment) costs the NHS over £100.00, and increases the waiting list time for people who actually do want to attend an appointment.
Patients who are prescribed medication which they then don't bother to take because "I took 2 and they don't work" fail to realise that the medication still has to be paid for.
If you want the world to sit around waiting to respond to your every whim as soon as you want something, then pay for it: Don't like the NHS? Pay to go private and get a real taste of the cost of living.
Whilst I agree with some of your comments (appointments, taking medication, etc.) I think you are very wrong when you say `pay for it` - we already do in our taxes - for both medical and dental.
If we were given the option of either paying our National Insurance or going private then fine we have a choice. However we have no choice but to pay our NI contributions and many of us are not in the fortunate position of having the disposable income to pay twice. Additionally there comes an age point where private insurance costs are prohibitive or unobtainable.
The cost of dental treatment has risen to the point where it matters little whether you pay for private treatment or take the NHS offering. This because the NHS charges have increased over the years and if you want something a bit `exotic` it would likely be outside of the NHS system anyway.
"I think you are very wrong when you say `pay for it`"
I didn't say or condone anything about paying for it - I merely illustrated that we already do pay at the dentist.
So to now make moves to pay for GP treatment doesn't surprise me at all.
I think its a silly idea, all the down and outs, those that sponge off society who would pay their fees? I tell you we would. The taxpayers.
I was really ill last week, not going to die or anything but really ill, took me 4 days to get an appointment and by the time I saw him I was getting a bit better and you want me to pay as well. Bit much really.
to see patients in the evening, or at home?
I don't know the answer, but I suspect they don't get paid to do this, in which case I see no problem with them charging.
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