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to think I should not have to pay my NHS GP £25

(21 Posts)
WetAugust Sat 26-Sep-09 00:45:55

I had to a cancel holiday that I had already paid for in full, on the advice of my GP as he said I needed an operaton and it was too risky to travel.

To make a claim on my holiday insurance the insurance company insisted that the claim form was signed by my GP.

My GP charged me £25 for completing the form.

What really bugs me is that he did this during normal NHS surgery hours with me present - yet charged for it.

I cannot claim this £25 back from the insurance company.

It just strikes me as very wrong to be charged for something that only your GP can do and did so in NHS time - but charged.

I have checked and this is common practice.

It's wrong. angry

yep, but thems the rules angry

SparklyGothKat Sat 26-Sep-09 00:50:59

we had to cancel our holiday this year as DH's arthritis had flared up and he was unable to move, let alone travel. We had to get the insurance form signed by the GP and it cost us £35.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 26-Sep-09 00:54:21

GPs are not employed by the NHS, they are contractors to the NHS. As such, they can and do set fees for work which is not covered by the NHS, such as signing insurance claim forms. £25 is fairly standard.

Why should I subsidise your holiday insurance claim?

Kran Sat 26-Sep-09 00:56:49

Did you take up an appointment slot to get your form signed?

WetAugust Sat 26-Sep-09 00:59:24

Why should I subsidise your holiday insurance claim?

But you did anyway as he did it in normal NHS hours during a normal MHS appointment and in an NHS surgery - and got £25 on top!

That may be "the rule" but doesn't mean we have to accept it or not try to change it.

I was being responsible by having insurance - it would have cost the NHS a lot more if I'd gone ahead with the holiday and needed reciprocal treatment abroad.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 26-Sep-09 01:11:44

YABU. Insurance claim forms, signing passports, completing work medicals etc are all non-NHS work and therefore GPs charge for them. If this was all done on the NHS then hours of GPs time would be consumed with admin that is actually no part of their role.

It doesn't have to be your own GP, you could have got it signed by a private GP which would have cost you a whole lot more!

WetAugust Sat 26-Sep-09 01:18:23

Ali - you are totally missing the point.

These may all be 'non-NHS work' but the fcat remains that he did it during normal NHS surgery hours - hours he was already being paid for by the NHS.

It's not the same as having him sign a passport application etc - this was a medically driven issue.

I agree that somthing like a medical could be conducted privately but in this case I could not have seen a private GP as the form had to be signed by my normal GP who advised me not to travel.

So he gets paid twice - once by the NHS and secondly by my £25.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 26-Sep-09 01:27:41

AFAIK (and I'm not a GP, nor do I know one on a personal basis) they are not contracted simply on "surgery hours" but also on various targets for immunisation etc. So you took up surgery time that should have been available to NHS patients (for which the GP would be paid) and expect not to pay for it?

I'm sorry that it's a shock to you that you have to pay this, but it's not news that GPs charge for these things. I ask again; why should the NHS/taxpayer subsidise your insurance claim?

KittyTN Sat 26-Sep-09 01:31:40

GPs do not get any payment from the PCT/NHS to complete private insurance forms - this is why they charge for the service. GPs do plenty of NHS work outside of surgery hours, how they choose to organise their work isnt really the issue. In fact your GP was being helpful to you in signing your form in surgery as you would have had to return to collect it if he/she had insisted on doing it after surgery. The majority of GP surgeries are owned by the GP partners, not the NHS.

Hope you were seeing your GP for a medical reason, not just to get your form signed.

Sazisi Sat 26-Sep-09 01:31:55

I have to pay our gp ?50 every single time the kids or I need to see her hmm

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 26-Sep-09 01:33:04

Where are you, Sazisi?

WetAugust Sat 26-Sep-09 01:36:43

GPs do a lot of things that are totally unconnected with health without charging for them. What about writing letters to Housing Depts supporting their patients applications for housing? They don't charge for that. That's a good use of NHS time then?

Me - I consider they should be providing a service. I pay my NI stamp - I am contacted in involunatrily by the Govt to the NHS through statutory contributions. If I wasn't I may be able to afford private care. But when I need a particular service from an NHS GP tp certify a medical condition they have diagnosed I have to pay extra.

I am beginning to sense the 'God-like' esteem in which doctors and the NHS are held by some.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 26-Sep-09 01:43:54

Are they using NHS time to write those letters? Perhaps (as independent business people) they are sufficiently compassionate not to demand dosh from homeless people, while thinking that folk who can afford foreign holidays can also afford £25? And so write those letters after surgery time?

Or perhaps they recognise that living in shite housing causes illness, so getting their patients into decent housing saves money in the long-term?

GPs actually provide a brilliant service, at no cost to the end user - when they're contracted to do so. They're not contracted to sort out your insurance claim, live with it.

KittyTN Sat 26-Sep-09 01:54:16

Your NI would be a lot higher if it had to extend to cover your non-NHS admin needs and anything else anyone cared to ask for. Most GPs would charge for letters for housing applications, exam boards etc. If they dont charge they are doing work for free.

nooka Sat 26-Sep-09 02:02:45

GPs aren't paid for their time at all, it's not the model used. They are not employees of the NHS. Each partnership is paid for specific services, with calculations for their list size and then additional amounts for higher quality/more effective services (things like checking all patients with chronic diseases have good health indicators regularly), and fees for additional things (like the swine flu jab this year). The practice can deliver services however they choose (ie directly by the GP, or through specialist nurses). Some partnerships choose to employ many staff and offer additional services, whilst others may choose to work very long hours and have their wives as admin. So long as the service meets minimum standards they can organise themselves however they like. A very few are known as "salaried GPs" these are paid for directly by PCTs or hospitals, but they are a pretty small group and they don't tend to provide traditional GP services. Finally a fair few GPs are employed by other GPs (some GPs run a number of practices).

So your argument should not be with the GP, but the government if you think that GPs should sign insurance forms without charge (but the GPs woudl expect an additional payment from the state then). Or that GPs should be employees, not independent.

NB. Your GP was choosing to charge - he could also have done it for free, or refused to do it at all, or changed you more or less.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 26-Sep-09 02:04:23

Perhaps you should be complaining about/to your insurance company if they won't cover the £25 cost of a certificate they demand?

But then, that would have been in the small print of your contract with the insurance company - did you check?

pooexplosions Sat 26-Sep-09 10:54:28

YABU. You took time away from NHS patients for a private service. You think thats what the NHS budgets should be spent on, your paperwork? No wonder there isn't enough money for operations and medicines.

As a pp said, you should try paying 50euro each time you or your children need to see a doctor, plus full price for all prescriptions, you'd soon change your tune.

RubysReturn Sat 26-Sep-09 11:20:23

I think I'd be relieved that all I would be losing was £25 after needing to cancel a holiday.

I hope your op goes smoothly and you are soon on the mend.

qwertpoiuy Sat 26-Sep-09 13:21:07

Spend some time in Ireland, then you'll understand what "real" GP charges are. Believe me, I'd be glad if all i had to pay was £25.

curlyredhead Sat 26-Sep-09 13:24:16

YABU.

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