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GP Charges...No Thanks

User
Posted 07 Jan 2016 at 20:02

Hi,


I saw a news item on our local TV news where a doctor suggested that patients should pay £10 to see a GP. 


Even though I agree that there are some people who maybe don't need to see a GP and it may discourage them from taking up the doctor's valuable time, but I feel it could be a dangerous move. 


I don't think I would have got myself checked out for Prostate Cancer because, at the time, I was convinced there was nothing serious wrong with me.  I had never been ill, hadn't seen the doctor for years and thought that nothing would ever happen to me, it always happened to others.  So why would I spend £10 when I was on a very tight budget?  I'm sure there are many others in a similar position.  I would always take the children to the doctors but assume that they would be free anyway.


So, I'm totally against the idea and in the end, any savings by the NHS would be wiped out by increased treatment costs of those undiagnosed at an early stage of an illness, such as cancer.


Steve

User
Posted 08 Jan 2016 at 18:37
I'm on the patient participation group (PPG) for our GP surgery. There are six GPs and 14,500 patients. In Swindon we have 28 GPs vacancies. There is a real problem here and it isn't primarily about money but about doctors wanting to be GPs. The Press and politicians seem to daily whip up public opinion against them and its very off putting for a young doctor making a decision about which path to take. In our surgery it is hard to get an appointment, but when I needed them before Xmas they got me in straight away (for hubby who was retaining urine), the Gp spent 25 minutes with us and got us on the right medical path. He was wonderful, as is every other GP in our surgery.

In our PPG we have debated the idea of charging people for missing appointments. We finally decided against it as so many people miss for a variety of different reasons, even I have done it by accidentally writing the wrong day down following a phone call. We did a survey as to why people miss and actually, a lot of it was down to mental health issues (dementia and other issues), we felt there was no point in adding more pain to the lives of the people concerned. So we continue to write to people who miss appointments suggesting a three strikes and you're out policy. We make it clear how many appointments are missed on a month for all to see.

I'd happily pay a ring fenced tax for the NHS, but where are the practitioners coming from? I dread to think where the next generation of nurses are coming from as they are now to charged the full cost of their training. No political party has got the guts to ask for more direct tax so I doubt that will happen. Like many here, I despair for the future of the NHS.

Devonmaid.
User
Posted 08 Jan 2016 at 07:24

Please please please don't turn this into a thread about immigration and what foreigners should and shouldn't pay for

Bri

User
Posted 07 Jan 2016 at 23:51

Hi Steve,

I believe GP's have a budget and perhaps some of them feel they could do more for their patients if this was augmented by a fee for each appointment a patient made. However, if adopted, this could be a problem for people of limited means, especially those who have multiple problems or frequent need to see a GP. One alternative to help fund the ever increasing cost of the NHS would be to have a ring fenced tax, which is likely to be more readily accepted. If people want a good NHS that is fit for the 21st century it has to be adequately funded. We lag behind France, Germany and some other countries in a number of key areas which includes cancer outcomes but UK citizens pay less towards the cost of health per capita. (The 'Wanless' report with updates makes interesting reading.)

Charges for visiting Dentists have been in force for many years and this has resulted in a number of people who should have check-ups and dental treatment not doing so. It is possible that in the same way some patients would not so readily see a GP if it was to cost them on every occasion.

Barry
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User
Posted 07 Jan 2016 at 23:51

Hi Steve,

I believe GP's have a budget and perhaps some of them feel they could do more for their patients if this was augmented by a fee for each appointment a patient made. However, if adopted, this could be a problem for people of limited means, especially those who have multiple problems or frequent need to see a GP. One alternative to help fund the ever increasing cost of the NHS would be to have a ring fenced tax, which is likely to be more readily accepted. If people want a good NHS that is fit for the 21st century it has to be adequately funded. We lag behind France, Germany and some other countries in a number of key areas which includes cancer outcomes but UK citizens pay less towards the cost of health per capita. (The 'Wanless' report with updates makes interesting reading.)

Charges for visiting Dentists have been in force for many years and this has resulted in a number of people who should have check-ups and dental treatment not doing so. It is possible that in the same way some patients would not so readily see a GP if it was to cost them on every occasion.

Barry
User
Posted 08 Jan 2016 at 00:22

Hi Steve
I also don't agree with paying per visit for all the reason quoted above but I would pay extra on my tax to supplement the NHS thus bringing us in line with other Countries.

Paul

User
Posted 08 Jan 2016 at 01:25

Why dont they have if you are not british or worked in the country for more than say 2 years you have to pay a fee for either gp or hospital

run long and prosper
'pooh how do you spell love'
'piglet you dont spell love -you just feel it'
User
Posted 08 Jan 2016 at 07:06

Steve, I am in total agreement with you.
I had no obvious PCa symptoms. I only went to my doctor for something else and as the consultation finished I said " do you think I should have a psa test? " . He waved his arms around and replied " I don't think so. The tests are unreliable. Do you really want one ?" .
And here I am. He did apologise when he summoned me back with a psa of 33.5!.

Charges will put people off. The nhs should be free .

And I agree that the benefits of charges raised would be lost against the costs incurred by late diagnosis of some many diseases .

User
Posted 08 Jan 2016 at 07:19
Where I live we have to pay £ 40-50 for a GP appointment.

Normally we can get an appointment that day at a choice of surgery with the GP that we want.

It is a lot of money, but they do lower rates for children and it is a thorough service where the doctors usually have a lot of time for you.

If you need a referral, they call the Consultants secretary then and there to make the appointment.

There is a similar private GP service in South Wales where I used to live. Similar levels of excellent service.

perhaps this is a service that some people might appreciate, if they feel it is worthwhile financially.

I agree with you Steve that in an ideal world GP appointments would be prompt and free, but sadly the NHS does not always provide this.

Alison

Edited by member 08 Jan 2016 at 07:48  | Reason: Not specified

User
Posted 08 Jan 2016 at 07:24

Please please please don't turn this into a thread about immigration and what foreigners should and shouldn't pay for

Bri

User
Posted 08 Jan 2016 at 09:14

I was just about to give up on my surgery where we have been patients for 46 years and have seen many changes in the NHS.  Some were for the better some not.


We have had a number of doctor changes over the  years and not always for the better.  


When we first joined the protocol seemed to be for the doctor to reach for his prescription pad the minute you walked in and before you'd finished trying to explain what was wrong you were out the door with a prescription in your hand. When doctors first started doing minor treatments we had a doctor who was very keen to give injections, it seemed for anything.


Certainly I had my share from him at the time as he insisted that my leg pain was varicose veins.  I did eventually have to have both legs stripped but it also turned out (eventually) that my leg pain was referred from my back.


The good old days eh?  Like nowadays, the surgery was always packed and when the appointment system came in it felt like manna from heaven.


A couple of months back it seemed to have reverted to the old days,only now the prescription is online so he doesn't physically reach for it but the feeling for the patient is the same.  I didn't get anything resolved but again came out with three prescriptions that I didn't ask for or want.


What I wanted was somebody to listen, but there's no time, the next patient is always waiting outside.


I'd reached the stage where I was prepared to pay a private GP just for somebody to listen and tell me I'm not a whiner or going mad.


Yesterday I had my faith restored in the good old NHS by a long serving doctor that I hadn't seen for years.  In a 10 minute slot he had examined me thoroughly, put my mind at rest in one area but said straight off what he thought the rest of it was.  I've been waiting over 20 years for somebody to agree with me (I didn't even need to prompt him).


Upshot, I have a blood test form for 13  blood tests.  How much would I have had to pay if we didn't have the NHS, even in its current form.  I paid my "dues" since I started work at 15 so I don't feel I'm taking more than I should be allowed to have.


Having said that, we have more people in this country than ever before, with babies being born all the time, so that strain on the NHS is massive.


I'll follow Brian's lead and won't get involved in a discussion about immigration and foreigners and who's entitled to what, BUT the practicalities of asking anyone to pay, even if it worked in theory, is unlikely to benefit the NHS as a whole very much, because there would need to be more administrative staff employed to service the extra work.


That would involve tiers of employees with those at the top making vast amounts  of money as usual.


It seems, again, that those working and paying in,will have to foot the extra bill.  We'll all moan about it until we need it.  


What I do feel strongly about is waste in the NHS and if they looked at that they could probably save millions.


Just my thoughts. Don't mean to offend or upset anyone

We can't control the winds - but we can adjust our sails
User
Posted 08 Jan 2016 at 10:47

What frustrates me are people who book an appointment them just dont turn up. Unless in the case of a dire emergency I wouldnt dream of doing this. Pretty well everyone has access to a mobile phone these days and it takes seconds to ring and cancel an appointment. As much as I complain about the NHS I think it is also taken for granted by many people.


 


Fiona.

User
Posted 08 Jan 2016 at 10:49

We'll all be lucky to have any GP's left to see if things carry on as they are...

In my area many have resigned early ( before 50 years of age ) and there are difficulties in recruiting new ones...

Luther

User
Posted 08 Jan 2016 at 18:37
I'm on the patient participation group (PPG) for our GP surgery. There are six GPs and 14,500 patients. In Swindon we have 28 GPs vacancies. There is a real problem here and it isn't primarily about money but about doctors wanting to be GPs. The Press and politicians seem to daily whip up public opinion against them and its very off putting for a young doctor making a decision about which path to take. In our surgery it is hard to get an appointment, but when I needed them before Xmas they got me in straight away (for hubby who was retaining urine), the Gp spent 25 minutes with us and got us on the right medical path. He was wonderful, as is every other GP in our surgery.

In our PPG we have debated the idea of charging people for missing appointments. We finally decided against it as so many people miss for a variety of different reasons, even I have done it by accidentally writing the wrong day down following a phone call. We did a survey as to why people miss and actually, a lot of it was down to mental health issues (dementia and other issues), we felt there was no point in adding more pain to the lives of the people concerned. So we continue to write to people who miss appointments suggesting a three strikes and you're out policy. We make it clear how many appointments are missed on a month for all to see.

I'd happily pay a ring fenced tax for the NHS, but where are the practitioners coming from? I dread to think where the next generation of nurses are coming from as they are now to charged the full cost of their training. No political party has got the guts to ask for more direct tax so I doubt that will happen. Like many here, I despair for the future of the NHS.

Devonmaid.
User
Posted 08 Jan 2016 at 21:39

Our GP practice is generally great - the only thorn is the practice manager but it is her job to be commercial rather than emotional and she keeps everyone in order I think. In the waiting room, there is a large TV screen with a running banner of how many missed appointments in the previous month and what the impact of that is.

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard
User
Posted 08 Jan 2016 at 22:22

Lyn,


I had to see our Practice Nurse today, I'd hurt my hand a few days back and had to spend four hours waiting in A and E, no problem as it was a 'minor' thing compared to some. I was delighted to see the tv screen in the waiting room had an excellent graphic, showing just how hard pressed the GP service is, plus the lack of modern facilities for many practices and the impact all this had on patient care. Important those who use health care know just how stressed practitioners and services are. Even better was my ensuing discussion with the practice nurse who has agreed to have some literature from our local PCa Support Group for the surgery !!


 


Fiona.

 
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