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Charging £25 to see a doctor....

(85 Posts)
cantheyseeme Fri 26-Jul-13 21:31:23

What does everyone think about this stuff in the news today? would you pay?

AmandinePoulain Fri 26-Jul-13 21:32:18

Have you got a link? I haven't heard this.

littlemisswise Fri 26-Jul-13 21:37:21

I think it is wrong. Some people, like DS2 and me, have chronic illnesses and disabilities so have to see the doctor more often. That is not our fault. I am already at a disadvantage because I cannot work, so have no income, now they are proposing charging me to see the GP. Where would I get the money from?

It would not make the health of the nation any better either and would put more pressure on the already over stretched hospitals. People who can not afford the £25 won't go to the GP with a chest infection, for example, which could exacerbate into pneumonia and a hospital admission. Or they will just bypass the GP and pitch up to A&E.

It's utter, utter madness.

cantheyseeme Fri 26-Jul-13 21:38:07

I'm sorry I don't know how to send links you could try googling it, it may have been yesterday mind lol

GemmaTeller Fri 26-Jul-13 21:40:26

Yes, I would as I only go when I genuinely have something wrong with me.

I haven't read the full article, just the headlines.

But then what happens to the NHS? do we have to pay for the doctor but get free hospital treatment?

What happens to people who genuinely need to see a doctor and have no money?

Relaxedandhappyperson Fri 26-Jul-13 21:40:28

Wouldn't it end up like prescriptions? Pretty much everyone gets them free, except working people. So working people with chronic illnesses would have to pay most - or get a "season ticket" like for prescriptions too.

chartreuse Fri 26-Jul-13 21:41:24

I live in Ireland and have to pay €60 to go to a GP. You really only go when absolutely necessary. When dc were younger and getting sick more often medical costs were a serious drain. Even now I have one child with asthma - his medicine is €70 per month and the GP likes to check him every 3-6 months. It adds up.

If I were in the UK, I would thank my lucky stars for free medical care and fight to keep it that way.

Floralnomad Fri 26-Jul-13 21:42:52

I think it could be potentially disastrous , there are already people in this country who go to the GP and then don't get their prescriptions filled because of the cost of them . It will just lead to a two tier society for healthcare or more people turning up at A&E with problems that a GP could deal with .( assuming they're not going to charge for that ) .

Pancakeflipper Fri 26-Jul-13 21:43:37

Our GP had better sharpen up his act and diagnose right first go and not have us going back every fortnight for 6months.

And I want at least 15mins of their time.
And at £25.00 could I have in-date magazines, not ones from 2004?

It will just mean more people won't go until its really serious and then more intensive treatment (and more expensive) treatment will be required. And people will die because they didn't check out that fishy cough or dodgy vowel movement quicker. Bonkers idea. Charge those who don't turn up.

FanjoForTheMammaries Fri 26-Jul-13 21:44:15

It's about as wrong as can be IMO, unless means tested

GherkinsAreAce Fri 26-Jul-13 21:44:29
Pancakeflipper Fri 26-Jul-13 21:44:35

Not fishy cough - dodgy cough. But fishy coughs should also be checked out.

cantheyseeme Fri 26-Jul-13 21:45:04

I think if it meant me seeing my GP when I needed not four weeks after I'd be willing to pay but I probably see it differently as I think I've been to my surgery maybe twice in 3 years. I know people who are there alllll the time and seem to get an appointment at the drop of a hat for nothing at all really, so maybe that would be a deterrant for time wasters and appointment missers.

GemmaTeller Fri 26-Jul-13 21:45:18
SirChenjin Fri 26-Jul-13 21:45:51

I would hate to see this charge introduced. Equally, I don't think the NHS can be sustained it's funded at the moment and I don't believe there is enough personal responsibility taken when it comes to health and wellbeing.

buttercrumble Fri 26-Jul-13 21:45:58

Brilliant idea would cut out all the time wasters

Pancakeflipper Fri 26-Jul-13 21:47:59

Oh for gods sake predictive text.... Dodgy bowel movements. Not vowel movements....

AnnabelleLee Fri 26-Jul-13 21:48:23

Considering that I've seen some ridiculous reasons to go see a dr on mn, its not the strangest idea ever. I think the worst I saw was someone advising the OOH doctors when a poster had run out of tampons. Seriously, I'm not making that up.

I imagine there would be some kind of medical card system like in Ireland, where unwaged/low-waged/those with chronic illnesses can get a medical card for free access. I don't know if it would work or if its a good idea, but I don't see the problem with discussing it.

As someone who visited my GP every week for a YEAR before DS1 finally got blue lighted to hospital, only to find he had 2 collapsed lungs and un diagnosed Cystic Fibrosis. I think this is a terrible idea, I didn't have any money at all back so paying for healthcare wouldn't have been an option.

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Fri 26-Jul-13 21:52:37

Ridiculous and counter-productive. The GPs must not have realised, too, that if I'm going to become a paying customer I will want a considerably higher level of service, including not being spoken to like an idiot, them actually looking at me instead of the computer screen for the whole appointment time, giving me a prescription right away instead of 'seeing how it goes' so I have to make another appointment, and plenty more.

GemmaTeller Fri 26-Jul-13 21:53:23

Pancakeflipper I'd pay to get my dodgy bowel movements sorted grin

TheYoniWayIsUp Fri 26-Jul-13 22:31:51

I think it would be worse if means tested. Like everything else, the people who are just over the threshold for benefits but still skint would be the ones too suffer. I'm sick of being part of 'the working poor' in this country.

In truth, if this came in, there would be plenty of times when me, DH and possibly our DC would have to suffer due to simply not having £25 spare. We already skimp on things like dentists/eye tests (for us, not DC) due to lack of funds.

But what do the tories care, eh? The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

The question in the OP should not be "would you pay", as presumably you'd have no choice. The key question here is "could you pay?"

tribpot Fri 26-Jul-13 22:44:11

Can I cross-charge back to the GP, like the time he made me and DH come in so that he could announce in person that DH needed a blood test and should book a separate appointment with the nurse (in a week's time) and then a further, separate appointment with him (a week after that). That was it. All he was doing was passing on a message from the hospital.

purplewithred Sat 27-Jul-13 07:59:33

Experience in NZ when they did this IIRC was a) appalling overloading of A&E and b) patients waiting until they were extremely sick before seeing a doctor rather than getting stuff sorted early on.

lljkk Sat 27-Jul-13 08:37:00

Most countries have co-pay, it's not a significant source of inequity by itself. they could set up a system where people with chronic conditions only pay for the first appointment. Their condition could be tagged as ongoing treatment and not subject to repeat payments.

So broadly I am in favour of some kind of charge, but depends how it's implemented. £25 is what the Vet charges for 10 minutes, btw. ( Brainstorming here a bit). I wonder if folk could be given a budget for primary care appointments, so you get (?) 6 appointments/yr without charge and anything over that you pay for, you'd get a receipt at each appointment telling you how many free treatments you still had that financial year. With fee waivers for follow-up and monitoring appointments for ongoing treatment. Waivers for pregnant, recently delivered a baby and children under 16, age 75+. Concession rates for other groups.

currentlyconfuseddotcom Sat 27-Jul-13 09:51:41

Apart from vaccinations, which might have prevented a serious illness/disease, every other single gp trip in my lifetime has either been pointless or actively damaging so I guess I'm one of those people who might have wasted GP time, albeit not frequently.

I don't agree with charging people who have serious conditions, or like lljkk, just for the first appointment. I believe in the welfare state, although it could be better managed. I have a bit more understanding of charging e.g. if people go in with a cold. But there would have to be age restrictions, i.e. not for over 60s.

Having lived in a country that required payment, I would say no - no that is a terrible idea.

What would be better IMO, is to charge those who don't turn up to appointments without letting the surgery know. That is a bloody disgrace.

Bunbaker Sat 27-Jul-13 10:04:08

"Oh for gods sake predictive text"

Can't you switch it off?

Predictive text drives me round the bend so I always disable it on my phones.

kissmyheathenass Sat 27-Jul-13 10:08:06

The NHS is unsustainable, something has to be done. It won't be popular but changes somewhere have to be made. I am very reluctant to see more burden put on the working poor though.

Groovee Sat 27-Jul-13 10:11:26

I have a chronic condition which can have me at the GP every other week at times and other times not go for months! I'd probably not go when I have to. I had a cold, but my friends made me go to the GP and it was a chest infection. I still maintain I had a cold.

Whowouldfardelsbear Sat 27-Jul-13 10:11:31

Payment to see a doctor is a terrible idea. Here in NZ where there is state health care, you still need to pay around $50 (about 25 pound) to see a doctor. About $35 for a child visit. They recently made children under 6 free at our local surgery, though that is the discretion of the practice.

You also need to pay for prescriptions, though some are subsidized. I recently had to pay $20 for some cream for a bad rash for DD as it was not subsidized. I told the chemist how awful it must be not to have the money to buy the medicine your child needs (or to just jettison eating for that week).

The NHS and free GP visits are crucial to a civilized society if you ask me.

The only advantage is that I can get a same day appointment, and the GP does give me a lot more time than any in the UK ever did.

Stropzilla Sat 27-Jul-13 10:14:35

I like the idea of charging those who don't turn up, as sconeinsixtyseconds said a couple of posts up.

Damnautocorrect Sat 27-Jul-13 10:26:30

It will cost more in the long run when the nhs are picking up the tab for illnesses that have been left because you can't afford it.
They will also need to charge at a and e and every walk in clinic.
We don't get benefits but I couldn't afford it. It's a quarter of what I have to live off a week.

PoshPenny Sat 27-Jul-13 12:42:14

Hmmm. I'm not entirely against the idea, as some people do seem to go every week and they don't really need the Dr. Just so long as the chronically sick had a concession. Not very fair on those of us on low-ish incomes though.

However, I would expect to be seen punctually, have a reasonable length of consultation time, be listened to and involved in the process/proposed treatment rather than be talked down to and told what is best for me (or that I'm being silly/what do I expect) which is how it feels at the moment.

They'd probably be better sticking with the present system actually, people will rise up and start demanding value for money.

Sidge Sat 27-Jul-13 12:53:55

I think it's a terrible idea, as do the GPs I work with.

It would be nice to find a way of penalising those who don't turn up to appointments they have booked though. If people didn't waste so many GP and nurse appointments you wouldn't have to wait so long for a routine appointment.

TheCrackFox Sat 27-Jul-13 13:15:52

Last month my local surgery had 89 missed appointments and I would like to see a charge for people who waste the GPs time like this.

Exactly crackfox 93 in our surgery last month, and our gps are great, they really do try and fit you in whenever they can.

It gives me the rage that three people a day (well more actually because of the weekends) just don't bother to show.

eurozammo Sat 27-Jul-13 13:30:44

I'm not wholly against it. I've lived in countries where there is a modest charge to see a dr (about a tenner, I recall) and even as a very poor student I could manage to pay when I really needed to go. You got more time with the dr too, so I felt that the appointment was more helpful - here, I pretty much always feel rushed.

I have GP friends who have discussed the problem of people taking up appointments when they don't need to see a dr. Some are just lonely. Some have chronic conditions that cannot be cured and won't accept that seeing the GP weekly will not change that. The upshot of this is that the people who really do need to be seen cannot get appointments. It is a very frustrating situation both for the dr and the patient who cannot get seen.

Bunbaker Sat 27-Jul-13 13:32:24

I'm amazed at the number of missed appointments. We had only one occasion when we had to miss an appointment, and that was because DD had been admitted to hospital. I still rang the surgery from the hospital to let them know.

daisychicken Sat 27-Jul-13 13:43:30

I hope we don't get charged to see our GP - I have a chronic condition so need so see my GP for new prescriptions/treatment as required (Im not a visit for the slightest thing person!) so would cost me a fortune plus I know lots who'd never see the GP due to the cost.

I'd much rather see a fine for missing an appt - whether GP or at the hospital. Perhaps people would think more about whether they really need to see someone if they know they will be fined for not turning up?

daisychicken Sat 27-Jul-13 13:50:03

Just to add to euro post - I'm happy to ask the advice of the person on the phone i.e. "I/dc have x, do we need to see the GP, nurse or can we get a prescription?"

Perhaps having a nurse answering the phone for spots would work?

I know some surgeries have someone phone you back but that isn't always convenient...... (Obv depends on what person is wanting to see GP for). Could something be combined with pharmacists? You can already ask advice (I have done for hayfever/veruccas for example) so perhaps more advice on what you need to see a GP for / pharmacist for etc might work??

Vickibee Sat 27-Jul-13 13:55:42

Dental treatment and eye test used to be free and we accept paying for those. I have a very complex prescription and paid £400 for y last pair.
I disagree with paying to see a GP. The NHS was set up to be free at the point of delivery. our practice tries to screen calls to see if treatment advice can be given on the phone for inor ailmets

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 27-Jul-13 13:55:58

I can see that charging for no shows will come in at some point. My practice had 215 missed appointments last month ( it is a super practice). That is almost one whole doctor so it is costing them a considerable amount.

Hmmm, I'm not so sure there are that many people who go to their GP just for the fun of it. I can think of better days out.

When I had my breast abscess I saw a GP 3-4 times a week for 3 weeks before finally ending up in A&E. At £225 to £300 I have wanted a bloody refund!

hermioneweasley Sat 27-Jul-13 14:00:32

I pay more than enough into the system already, thanks.

Charge/penalise people who don't turn up or are time wasters.

lljkk Sat 27-Jul-13 15:26:53

People who don't turn up are often the most vulnerable, though, the ones with the fewest life coping skills and most of all, the ones who have the least money. 90% of them won't have £25 to pay for not turning up.

What you could do is demand a deposit when the appointment is booked, say £10. To be refunded when the person turned up. The most vulnerable wouldn't even have £10 though.

I am pretty sure the NHS is the only health care system that is truly free at point of delivery, I'm not sure it's fair to say that every other health care system in the world is uncivilised etc.

GlobalWarning Sat 27-Jul-13 15:32:29

My mum went to the doctors a year ago with bowel pain. They misdiagnosed her and a year on she has stage 4 cancer with no hope of a cure. If £25 means people are thoroughly looked at, taken seriously then I would pay. But GPs have a duty of care and this should happen anyway. It would also put people off going to the doctors, it's a huge sum for some people.

Floralnomad Sat 27-Jul-13 15:38:08

At our GP there are a limited number of pre bookable appts each day and the rest can be booked on the day . If you fail to turn up to a pre booked appt they ban ou from pre booking in future so you have to ring in the morning to see if you can get in , that seems fair enough to me . They have a sign up to say how many appts are missed each month and last month so many were missed it was a whole day and a half of one nurse and one dr . I really think charging would be the start of a slippery slope.

JuliaScurr Sat 27-Jul-13 15:44:22

God, Global I'm very sorry to hear about your mum

GlobalWarning Sat 27-Jul-13 15:45:34

Thank you Julia

LRDYaDumayuIThink Sat 27-Jul-13 15:50:36

Oh, global, sorry. sad

I have to say, I think it's a stupid idea. Sanctions for timewasters would be fine by me. But it is like blood out of a stone to get my parents to go to the doctor and this sort of thing would just make them more stubborn.

There are a heck of a lot of people who'll use any excuse not to go and see the doctor.

GibberTheMonkey Sat 27-Jul-13 15:51:46

Actually Vicki
I just haven't been to the dentist

Dh has asthma, we spent enough on meds and inhalers, we jave a card as it makes them a little cheaper. They make him go to regular appointments before giving him his prescriptions.
I can imagine people who were broker than us would end up dying as they would put off going regularly and asthma is a killer.

Paying for missed appointments sounds fair to me, unless the patient was hospitalised in the meantime.

3littlewomen Sat 27-Jul-13 16:02:51

We pay €50 here (Ireland) to see the doctor. I am often shocked when I read of people waiting weeks to see their GP... I will almost always get a same day appointment, and we do not get charged again if we have a follow-up on the same condition (also not charged if pregnancy related). Also charged less for children and older people.

On occasion child has become ill when out, no money on me - and my GP was horrified I would even query whether or not to bring them in, their health is most important then paying and I could settle up as and when!

It does in my opinion work well here.

moomoomummy Sat 27-Jul-13 16:09:24

Missed appointments in the NHS cost approx 700 million pounds last year according to an article on BBC website . I have worked in the health service for 25 years and am gob smacked at how many people miss appointments. Two hour appointments, general anaesthetic appointments etc and sadly they are most commonly missed by regular people and not those with social problems . Sheer ignorance and bad manners. It makes me mad and we have to do something to make people value the services we provide . The NHS is on its knees and we have to start somewhere by charging for missed appointments. People will soon learn to value it . Rant over ,p!

lljkk Sat 27-Jul-13 16:10:38

In Ireland, is there no problem with the indigent going to A&E when they get very ill? In the US there are lots of charity clinics that will treat for free or very little acute conditions and acute complications of chronic conditions, but otherwise people suffer a lot for not having the right insurance. many stories of people cutting their tablets in half so not taking the right amount of meds, due to costs.

Meglet Sat 27-Jul-13 16:14:32

Really bad idea. I'd be broke within a few months. I've seen a GP about 5 times this year so far, all were for genuine illnesses and 4 of them resulted in prescriptions / further testing. I'm burnt out so catch everything going.

AnnabelleLee Sat 27-Jul-13 16:17:59

In Ireland lots of people have medical cards, so there is no cost to them to go to A&E. Plus you don't pay upfront, which helps.

RaspberrySnowCone Sat 27-Jul-13 16:22:10

Missed appointments could be charged, or further appointments refused for repeat offenders. I don't think charging more generally is a good idea, people will just put things off then become an emergency putting more pressure on A&E with yet again, more financial pressure on those who work and a huge strain on those who work who have a chronic condition or children with a chronic condition.

I do think it would be worth surgeries making it more well known that you don't always have to see a Dr. I asked to see one a while back and they were full but the receptionist advised that the senior nurse could do almost as much as Dr could so i could see them. Now I generally see one of the nurses if its routine stuff. I didn't know I could do that until someone told me. I thought the nurses just did smears/bloods/jabs etc.

tribpot Sat 27-Jul-13 16:36:12

My practice has more or less admitted that they use the DNAs (did not attends) to manage overrunning sessions. A bit like the airline industry overbooking flights to make sure their planes were at capacity for more journeys. They are much more reluctant than the patient reference group to push for penalties for repeat offenders who do not attend.

My DH has been discharged from one hospital service for missing an appointment he didn't even know about - the NHS' ongoing love affair with paper. So there are penalties in place to deal with those who fail to attend, which are fairer than penalising all of those who see a GP regularly. The prospect of disputing what is and is not an ongoing course of treatment for someone with complex and chronic health problems like my DH does not fill me with joy - nor, I would imagine, would my practice relish the prospect of having a billing department to deal with disputes of this nature, chasing non-payers, and paying whacking great insurance premiums to deal with the risk of being sued if care is denied to someone who can't or won't pay.

JuliaScurr Sat 27-Jul-13 16:56:59
ReallyTired Sat 27-Jul-13 17:30:33

This the article

I can understand why Dr Shailendra Bhatt thinks there should be charges as works in a local walk in centre where some hyprocontrics really do take the piss. The walk in centre in question triages people and prehaps non emergency people should be refused accesss to the doctor. (They can make appointments through their own GP practice for non emergencies!)

However I fear that a charge would deter those who really need the doctor. We would have a situation like we have with denistry where the working poor cannot afford treatment.

I think that fines for people who miss appointments is far more constructive.

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Sat 27-Jul-13 17:44:03

RaspberrySnowCone It's a good point that you don't always have to see a doctor. My practice nurse can also prescribe a fair range of stuff so I can see her a lot of the time. The difficulty come when the system requires a doctor to do something for the practice to be paid - e.g. a few years ago (don't know whether this has changed) the 'new patient' check up for people joining a new surgery had to be done by a doctor for the practice to be paid the fee earned for that work. In fact, it was almost all stuff that could be done by a nurse or even, tbh, a non-medial professional - e.g. weighing people, taking their medical history down, asking about drinking/smoking habits and so on.

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Sat 27-Jul-13 17:45:39

The other very important thing not to overlook is that the NHS is supposed to be free at the point of access. If we're having to pay for initial access to the system, then the concept of the NHS is gone. We should be resisting this and asking for a clear evidence base that shows it will improve the system.

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Sat 27-Jul-13 17:46:52

And for that reason, I'd agree (just about) with payment charges for DNAs, but not for all appointments.

edam Sat 27-Jul-13 17:50:16

The Pulse survey that sparked this off was a self-selecting sample of 440 docs who wanted charges of £5-£25 Of course, if you are a GP partner on a salary north of £100k £5 or £25 probably sounds like nothing much. Very different if you are working poor, retired, disabled, or on benefits, though.

Would actually be very expensive, both because of admin costs and because people who do need medical care would be put off going until their condition gets really serious and needs costly treatment. It's a stupid idea, ultimately.

eurozammo Sat 27-Jul-13 17:52:19

moo at least some missed appointments are due to poor administration though. I know of more than one person in the last 6 months who has received an appointment letter AFTER an appointment was supposed to take place. And I have tried to cancel (by telephone) an appointment for a procedure I had had privately through my health insurance (my GP must have received the results from the private procedure weeks before this appointment letter was sent but it was still sent) only to be told it was not possible over the phone - I had to write in. I did bother but I can imagine there are some people who can't be bothered or don't want to pay for a stamp. These points apply more to hospital appointments than GPs, but I think it's important to acknowledge that patients are not always at fault for missed appointments.

Viviennemary Sat 27-Jul-13 17:52:50

Not sure what the answer is. But the NHS is unsustainable as it is now. With resources getting ever more stretched.

edam Sat 27-Jul-13 17:53:33

Even administering a charge for missed appointments would be costly, not least because half the time it's the NHS's fault for sending appointment letters too late, sending them to confused elderly people who can't make sense of them so their relatives find them too late* and so on combined with often making it extremely difficult to phone up and say, hang on, you've stuffed up/I can't make this date.

The various services involved with my MIL all know she is confused and on her way into a home as soon as a place comes up/we can get the £8k deposit required by her favourite home out of her investments. Yet they send her letters, failing to copy in SIL or dh, despite by SIL or DH having requested to be informed so they can make sure MIL turns up for the appointment.

ReallyTired Sat 27-Jul-13 19:09:03

Our GP surgery strikes off people who miss more than three appointment without explanation. This brutal approach is understandable, but can leave innocent children or an elderly person with dementia without a GP. I missed an ante natal appointment due to being in strong labour, but the midwife did say that was totally forgivable. We need a system that is compassionate and reasonable.

I think its perfectly valid to punish adults of working age for missing GP appointments which they have booked themselves. Ofcourse there is a cost with punishing crimes, but it is to act as deterent. Prehaps there needs to be option of commuity service for those who cannot pay fines.

notfarmingatthemo Sun 28-Jul-13 06:09:46

We pay here in NZ but then are prescriptions are reduced a bit because of it so I think it works out very similar to the uk. I have been twice since I have been here (not been here long but have a few long term things) each time I have been seen the same day. The waiting room is not full of kids with sniffles all seen kids in there that have been obviously ill. Each time I have been asked if I minded if they went first. I think it would solve people going to the Drs for silly things. If you have to pay it makes you think

colleysmill Sun 28-Jul-13 06:50:07

As a patient with a compromised immune system when I'm sick, I'm sick. I won't often get better on my own and the "wait and see " approach just means I deteriorate further. Doesn't happen very often admittedly but I dont want the added stress of "can I afford it?" instead of "i.need to.see a doctor".

As a professional who often signposts people back to their GP if we think there is an.underlying condition which needs exploring I would worry people wouldn't follow that advice and not get the intervention they need.

I would be concerned this will only led to higher costs for the nhs - a lot of the time the focus is on catching things early not later for better outcomes but by putting a barrier to accessing health advice or treatment people will leave it too long and ultimately it may cost for the nhs to treat.

giraffesCantWearSuncream Sun 28-Jul-13 07:06:23

Ihave bad asthma, I probably just wouldn't go

Like Edam said upthread, £25 is a large chunk of many people's income. A charge would restrict healthcare access to those with more money - unless the charge was means tested, so the financial impact would be equal for whoever used the service.

purplemurple1 Sun 28-Jul-13 07:52:32

We have this where I live (abroad) and it works quite well as there is a yearly limit on what you can pay, pensioners and those on benifits get a discount. Also once you have one visit about something you don't pay for followup visiits about the same thing, inc hospital visits if needed. So you just budget this money each year and if you don't need it all then it's a bonus. But the big difference is the benifit system here gives people enough to live on and afford these charges, thats the issue in the UK I suppose - more costs with no more money doesn't really add up.

(They do prescriptions in the same way, yearly limit and discounts.)

differentnameforthis Sun 28-Jul-13 12:53:27

We already pay here (Australia). My dr charges $52 per visit. Or they can bulk bill (they do this for those on a health care card, which you get on a v low income, or for children)

We get to claim about 80% back afterwards.

We also pay full price on prescription charges. The last script I had cost me $64 & that was contraceptives.

That's really reasonable for oz, different. I used to get charged $80 and receive $32(? I think) back.

Nancy66 Sun 28-Jul-13 13:20:10

If there's a workable way of doing it - i.e so that patients with known on-going conditions are exempt - then I don't think it's such a terrible idea.

There are so many no-shows at surgeries every day and so many time wasters.

I know people who get a cold and make an appointment with the their GP - if you ask them why they just say 'well they might be able to give me something.' Yes, something you can buy over the counter in Boots.

If it weeds out idiots and time wasters and saves the NHS shed loads of money then I'm for it.

I also think ambulance calling time wasters should be heavily fined.

Theas18 Sun 28-Jul-13 13:24:41

Half the time I thnk charging is a great idea, the rest of the time, of course it's daft...

BUT reality is we needs to cut down those who don't attend, and those who don't self manage apropriately,attend for non medical reasons (how can the GP fix your work/relationship/finance problems?) or don't follow instructions and are back again because " it isn't mended"

differentnameforthis Sun 28-Jul-13 13:27:38

We are in Adelaide, so I know we pay less than some places. But yeah, it isn't bad. My dr knows me (he treats the whole family), so always bulk bills smile

But script charges can be a killer..

Silvermoonsparkling Sun 28-Jul-13 13:33:25

A GP friend told me ages ago that if they could charge just £1 per patient, it would cut out a considerable number of time wasters who just rock up to the surgery for a chat.

colditz Sun 28-Jul-13 13:36:30

£25 is half my weekly food budget. I have two asthmatic children. We're going to fucking starve if this is brought into practice.

Yes, we have, on the whole, accepted paying for eye tests and dental treatment, but the working poor aren't paying for it because they have STOPPED GOING TO THE DENTIST AND OPTICIAN! My mother and sister haven't been to the dentist since my sister left school and mum lost the tax credits. Neither are eligible for an nhs card. My sister desperately needs glasses, and has stopped driving because of this, and I suppose if I forced the issue, she would go but she's put off by the price. My mother needs new dentures, hers dont fit her.

If there had been a £25 charge for the doctor, the pain in my sisters leg would have been ignored, or treated with old prescription drugs left over in the med drawer, and the blood clot that was sitting there would not have been noticed, she would not have been treated with heparin, the resulting pulmonary embolism she DID HAVE would have been a lot worse and would probably have killed her.

All for the sake of £25 which seems like fucking chump change if you are a doctor, but is a fifth of my sisters weekly income.

somewheresomehow Mon 29-Jul-13 15:19:26

the trouble is with this idea is that all those on benefits, kids under 1 and the oap's would'nt pay and everyone else has to and every year like the prescription charge it would go up, thereby pricing low/middle income but not on benefits people/families out of health care and it would end up with people packing out a and e which itself is in crisis because hospitals are closing/merging thereby limiting available beds

bloody hell. What is this all about.
As someone else said what about people with 'chronic' illnesses do we get a discount probably not!! We will be working for our GP and NHS appointments not paying off our mortgages grr

edam Tue 30-Jul-13 23:04:51

Well said, Colditz.

Dunno if this might be any use to your Mum and sister? There's a 'I am on a low income, can I get help with dental charges' box. Seems they make a comparison between your income and the charge for the dental work that needs to be done - so if a dentist says your Mum needs new dentures, with an NHS charge of £214, she may be able to apply for assistance if she can show her income is too low to afford them.

alreadytaken Sat 10-May-14 18:42:42

Reviving this zombie thread because it is on the agenda again.

Something to ask the candidates about when there are elections

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