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Taxpayers To Pay £20 To See Their Gp

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8156279.stm

Patients should be charged £20 to see a GP in a bid to limit demands placed on the health service, a centre-right think-tank says.

The Social Market Foundation said forcing people to pay a fee for an appointment could help the NHS cope in the tight financial times ahead.

The group said it would not breach the values of the NHS as charges already applied to dentistry and prescriptions

But both the government and doctors said they were against such a move.

The think-tank said the NHS was facing a tough couple of years.

While funding is guaranteed until 2011, many are expecting the budget to be frozen or cut after that.

The Social Market Foundation said the only way for the NHS to cope was to raise taxes to put more money into the system, limit demand or work more effectively.

The NHS is already looking to make savings and the think-tank said there was little appetite for tax rises.

Instead, they said charging for GPs would be a good way to reduce demand.

Report author David Furness said: "It would get people thinking twice about whether the visit was essential.

"If we don't introduce rationing like this, there will be rationing by stealth through waiting lists, crumbling hospitals and poor quality services."

Opposition

He said the move was not about making money and insisted even a small charge like this could help reduce appointments by about 5%.

He said children and those receiving tax credits should not be charged and said the think-tank was opposed to fees being levied on any form of emergency care.

But Dr Chaand Nagpaul, of the British Medical Association's GPs committee, said the union was opposed to charging.

"All patients have a right to free healthcare that is based on their clinical needs, not the size of their bank balance.

"I would also be concerned that charging some of my patients to see me would undermine the doctor-patient relationship. Many would be put off coming to their local surgery when they might need care."

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said ministers were also against introducing charging like this.

She said it would be against the "founding principles of the NHS".

That's £20 on top of the £7.xx for the little green invoice.

Appointments at 10 minute intervals would mean patients paying £120 an hour (on top of taxes) to see their GP.

"See how you get on with that, and come back and see me in 2 weeks" Kerrching!!!!!

Remind me again what the 10 years of increased taxes and NHS funding have been for?

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Regardless of whether this is a good idea or not, it'll never happen. None of the parties will endorse it, as it would be political suicide. In fact, there is pressure on the government to abolish prescription charges in England to bring us in to line with Wales, Scotland and NI.

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Guest DissipatedYouthIsValuable
Remind me again what the 10 years of increased taxes and NHS funding have been for?

Mostly number collecting and writing papers on how the system should be run if we were living in an unconstrained Utopia.

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8156279.stm

That's £20 on top of the £7.xx for the little green invoice.

Appointments at 10 minute intervals would mean patients paying £120 an hour (on top of taxes) to see their GP.

"See how you get on with that, and come back and see me in 2 weeks" Kerrching!!!!!

Remind me again what the 10 years of increased taxes and NHS funding have been for?

What a dead good idea! This would have saved me £1000s in tax if NHS was PAYG.

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Regardless of whether this is a good idea or not, it'll never happen. None of the parties will endorse it, as it would be political suicide. In fact, there is pressure on the government to abolish prescription charges in England to bring us in to line with Wales, Scotland and NI.

id never say never, im sure in a couple of years it will be ther IMF's choice and not the Party in Govt

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I've always thought that this is a dumb idea.

There will almost certainly be an exemption for people on benefits, pregnant women, pensioners etc so:

1) most of the frequent visitors will still pop along to their doctor without charge

2) some genuinely ill people, who don't fit into the exempt category, may decide not to go to they doctor when they should have done with catastrophic effects.

3) the cost of enforcing the collection of payments from the few who have to pay will cost more than it generates

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and it wont be the ones who DO clog up surgeries...young mums with their kids whove got a sniffle, and the depressed who arent working, oh, and retired workers who will die instead of ringing their GP.

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Mostly number collecting and writing papers on how the system should be run if we were living in an unconstrained Utopia.

Worth every billion, if you ask me.

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The softening of the populace to begin the innevitable privatisation of the NHS methinks.

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So then I wait until I am so ill I end up in A&E. What then? Surely getting to that stage will cost more?

I would prefer to pay £20 for a quick consultation at my supermarket, privately, for those little ailments that still require prescription drugs and a little advice (ie I suffered from sties terribly the other year) without the enormous hassle and wait to see what can often be an awful GP.

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Good, this will unclog the cues of all the hypochondriacs, lonely pensioners, and career worry warts.

You would hope that, but in reality it will only be people who work that hardly ever use the services that will have to pay, there will be an exception for everyone else.

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Guest happy?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8156279.stm

That's £20 on top of the £7.xx for the little green invoice.

Appointments at 10 minute intervals would mean patients paying £120 an hour (on top of taxes) to see their GP.

"See how you get on with that, and come back and see me in 2 weeks" Kerrching!!!!!

Remind me again what the 10 years of increased taxes and NHS funding have been for?

Another crackpot idea from the Social Market Foundation. It does however neatly illustrate the lie that the right like to perpetuate - i.e. that they're about reducing the tax burden.

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Another tax on workers then?

Thin end of the wedge springs to mind! Dentist were 100% free once if I remember correctly!

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Guest pioneer31

How about this idea

"Tax payers (present or past) to be shifted to the front of the NHS queue"

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Guest eight
Thin end of the wedge springs to mind! Dentist were 100% free once if I remember correctly!

And hopefully they will be again, if Labour ever get in......

eight

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