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To think that *some* people paying for healthcare *some* of the time would be no bad thing.

(338 Posts)
manicinsomniac Thu 04-Feb-16 22:50:00

I am a big fan of the NHS and think it would be terrible if we lost it.

However, I think we could help prevent that happening by it being not quite so free as we are accustomed to, iyswim.

I had to go to my GP today for help with my totally avoidable and self inflicted health condition. I was given an appointment just 3 hours after phoning and the doctor was calm, non judgmental and extremely helpful. I am independent adult with a good, full time job.

I can't see why I, and people like me, shouldn't pay a token amount towards GP appointments, just like we do for the dentist. Even just £10-£15 a visit could make a huge difference on a national scale, surely.

Obviously if you are a) poor b) have an illness or disability that requires frequent appointments c) are a child or d) need expensive treatment/care then the NHS is vital and must remain free.

But I don't see the need for this 'free at the point of use' thing for all people in all situations. If you can pay for standard, infrequent appointments then I think it would be fine to be made to.


SooYoon Thu 04-Feb-16 22:50:58

Definitely agree!

Samcro Thu 04-Feb-16 22:51:52

how do you define "poor"

Quoteunquote Thu 04-Feb-16 22:52:09

Having lived in countries that don't have a national health service , I think it's a terrible idea.

Potatoface2 Thu 04-Feb-16 22:52:33

i agree to a point what you are saying, but i reckon once something like that starts it will see the end of the NHS as it is.....and we will be charged for other services too

Hippahippahey Thu 04-Feb-16 22:54:01

No it would be the start of a slippery slope and a further divide in the healthcare of rich and poor.

BIWI Thu 04-Feb-16 22:54:04

But that's exactly how we would lose the NHS.

And who gets to decide whether you should pay or not?

Silly idea.

But - if you want to pay, nothing to stop you registering with a private GP.

elliejjtiny Thu 04-Feb-16 22:55:10

But wouldn't the cost of the admin be higher than the money saved? Or people who can't afford to pay end up in the paying group, like the people who can't get free school meals because they get working tax credits. It's a good idea in principle though [pessimist emoticon].

TheCatsMeow Thu 04-Feb-16 22:56:03

YABU. How do you decide what's self inflicted? Obesity? What if obesity is down to other medication? Self harm? Even though mental health conditions are valid? Sporting injuries?

If you want to pay, get a private GP.

hibbleddible Thu 04-Feb-16 22:58:09

I think paying a nominal amount, say £10 per appointment, would be a good idea. The NHS in its current state is not viable.

A nominal charge would raise some money, but more importantly would reduce misuse of services, and reduce people not turning up to appointments, which is very costly.

VocationalGoat Thu 04-Feb-16 22:58:59

I totally agree.

hibbleddible Thu 04-Feb-16 22:59:29

In terms of charging, it could follow the same model as prescription charging, so would not require costly admin.

Samcro Thu 04-Feb-16 22:59:32

bollocks to that

TheCatsMeow Thu 04-Feb-16 22:59:37

It'd be viable if people paid a decent amount of tax.

scrappydappydoo Thu 04-Feb-16 23:00:10

I get what you're saying but I know lots of people who no longer go to the dentist because they can't afford a basic check up and don't qualify for free treatment. So I think it will stack up up problems for the future when people don't go for those little niggles that can be an early indication of something big.

megletthesecond Thu 04-Feb-16 23:00:18

I expect lots of people would put off seeing the gp for the sake of a £10 apt and end up seriously ill.

Babycham1979 Thu 04-Feb-16 23:01:28

OP, like you, I personally wouldn't mind paying along these lines. However, it is the start of a slippery slope, and we'd soon see successive governments ratcheting up the fee (like with dentistry) until you're basically paying the full cost of an attendance (on top of already paying for it in taxes).

Also, 80% of prescriptions in England and Wales are free. This is both an indictment of the dependency culture successive governments have nurtured, and a result of the fact that the oldest and poorest are also the illest people. Charging those who can afford it would actually be charging those who use the NHS the very least. It wouldn't touch the sides in financial terms, and would have a negligible impact on waiting times etc.

arethereanyleftatall Thu 04-Feb-16 23:01:35

I agree with you to a certain extent, but I'm not sure how it could be enforced.
It really makes me cross when people who I know can afford a prescription etc, go via the dr to get it so it's free. Just pay for it if you are able!!

TwinkleCrinkle Thu 04-Feb-16 23:01:39

100% agree! Surely poor is those who already get free prescriptions?

I do kind of agree that it may be a slippery slope though. But, other than extra funding (doesn't seem likely and which the tax payer would be paying for anyway!) how can the NHS be supported long term.

The hospital near us had to turn people away a couple of weeks ago. They couldn't cope with the amount of patients so unless you were at risk of life or limb you were told to go else where. This has happened in other areas too. This doesn't sound like an NHS that can survive in the long term to me

Krampus Thu 04-Feb-16 23:01:48

You would need to make sure that the token amount woud be more than the admin and management of the fee. Taking into account new software updates, implementation, training, advertising, chasing up non9e payments, decision making on who has to pay and for what, analysis of situations where payment for screening could put people off and end up costing the nhs more, possibility of getting systems of different organisations taling to each other.

Personally I would be happy to pay a nominal amount but that could well end up costing more than paying into a private health care scheme.

BlueJug Thu 04-Feb-16 23:01:49

OP has a good point though - and we do need to look again at how it is funded. The waste is extreme. People have appointments for nothing, they get prescriptions that they don't use, they pitch up at A and E with very minor injuries - and we cannot afford to keep paying for it.

I don't know what the answer is but we have to explore the options.

WorraLiberty Thu 04-Feb-16 23:01:57

I was going to ask the same question as Samcro

How do you define poor?

I live in one of England's most deprived boroughs, where often the 'working poor' aren't recognised.

They're already paying for prescriptions, eye tests, glasses, dental work, school dinners, council tax, massively high rents etc...

Sod having to pay for the GP visits too.

manicinsomniac Thu 04-Feb-16 23:01:58

I don't want to pay for a private GP! I don't particularly want to pay at all, I'll generally take any freebies going anywhere! I'm just saying that I would understand and agree with a decision that those who can pay should to support the NHS - not private companies.

And I don't think whether or not something is self inflicted is relevant in the 'pay or not' criteria. Sorry, I wasn't very clear there. It was just something that made me feel even luckier than I otherwise would today that I live in a country where even things that are my fault are treated for free when other people are dying through lack of medical insurance in other countries. But I didn't include 'lack of blame' in my list of suggested exemptions. As you say, it's too subjective.

Samcro - I don't know. Just 'would struggle to pay' I guess. But hard to define. Shame we wouldn't be able to have an honesty system - that would eliminate the admin costs too. That's idealism in the extreme though.

MazzleDazzle Thu 04-Feb-16 23:02:17

I've often thought that there should be collection points at hospitals/surgeries so that, if you wanted to, you could give a donation.

Samcro Thu 04-Feb-16 23:02:42

op what about smears... do you want a charge for them?

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