GP’s Charging Fees?

l seem to write a blog about GP’s every year.  ( You can see all my earlier posts by clicking on “GP’s” in the TagCloud )

They are the first call in managing the nation’s health and a vital gatekeeper to all other NHS health care.   At one time, not so long ago, they held a trusted vocational role in the community.   Then the politicians interfered and egged on by the GP’s trade union, the BMA, they made a Faustian bargain to pay GP’s more for doing less.  Ever since the service has declined and that has been the subject of my posts.

We have now passed a tipping point.   Many people unable to get an appointment with their GP are bypassing the system and go instead to A&E departments, which are being overwhelmed.   At the same time the exit from hospital is blocked by the increasing numbers of elderly people who cannot return home, because of cut backs in home care.

The latest suggestion from a group of GP’s in Oxfordshire is to charge for ‘out of hours’ appointments, which is apparently in the evenings and at weekends.   They propose a figure of around £25.   When the idea was first mooted in 2013 the figure was £10.

There will inevitably be a hostile reaction to this from the “NHS free at the point of delivery” brigade.   Not to mention the ” thin end of the wedge to privatising the NHS” flash mob.    But what’s the use of a free service if you can’t get an appointment in the first place and aren’t many treatments in the NHS privatised by default because of long waiting lists.

The current system is a mess, unable to cope with the competing pressures of financial constraints and an ever increasing elderly population.   We have to be prepared for radical solutions, but they surely need to be much more comprehensive than just GP paid appointments.

Perhaps after all the answer will have to be : –

                     A  SILVER  BULLET  ?


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2 Responses to GP’s Charging Fees?

  1. Hi1Ho! Silver, well some one some where has raised the problem of direct paying within the NHS/ GP visit: Well I never said the blind mind as he looked out over the horizon.
    How do we alter our perceptions of the NHS? Since 1948 and the inception of the NHS we have become accoustomed to be treated at the point of entry whether it be a GP/Hospital/ after care/nursing home ect. and there again on social sevices for housing and other benifits? They all appear to come under one umbrellala and budget the NHS? How we as ordinary citizens are expected to under stand the problems of organisation/delivery of services/ cost and benits, I do not know?
    In my working lfe time, and my actual life time my wife and I have paid in to the National Insurance tax scheme, we have been grateful for GP’s consultations, hopitalisations (From time to time-Childbirth and broken limbs and for our children and grandchildren), and support when made forcebly redundant (Social payments), and family allowances. I am grateful to our fore fathers for their vision.
    Now I am old as is the general population of the UK,who pays for all these services? I was brought up to honour my debts and reimberse when once again working? Where has the ‘Ethos’ of help thie neighbour gone, we all seem to have become takers form the system, and the feeling that one must have respect for the elderly, as they are wise and have done their duty in paying their taxes, and fighting and voting responsibly for the society and social world we now live in.
    The NHS has lost its way, and while we casigate the user, some of the paid employees, I feel treat the NHS as a pool of money and we have gone along the ‘American Vision’ of we all pay and the top dogs act like ‘God’s while they were trained at our expense ( In the days gone buy- now the medical students doctors.;nurses) have to pay their own educational fee’s, as do our own children within their chosen career, so the NHS while it is still a ‘calling’ it is not a vocation in the strictest sense of the word, and they have to be repaid for their investment in time and monies? like the rest of us witin a job of work and the trainng we recieve.
    John is most proberbly correct it is our own politicans, and men in grey suits, and we as a society/nation have to understan what we wish from the NHS Budget, and trust that the politicans have the ‘BALLS’ and the strength, and determination to re-look at the NHS from the point of view of what is actually required by us all.
    We have had at least two generations used to the fall back of a ‘FREE NHS’ and social services and not worry about who pays? (TAXES do we increase them?) Now we must all think as a society, and the world problems of mass immigration/ and where do we get our younger population from to service us ‘OLDIES?’ (We are past child bearing age! are we not?)
    As John said a silver bullet! Remember Hi! HO! silver and the Lone Ranger (BBC TV Kids telly 1960’s), he had silver bullets so that if he ever shot anyone they would not die? at least from lead poisioning. ( But that was a problem again solved by our forefathers in the 19Th. Century – the onset of copper water pipes within houses/flats and tennaments.)

  2. A world of dreams and memories
    ‘Fred!’ Who? Not Freddie Trueman that Yorkshire and England bowler? But Fred Sayer! : Who you may ask is this gent? Well at 13+ I had failed my 11+ to grammar, and was caught up in the West Ridings educational system, and passed the examination to Harrogate Secondary Technical School, for lads and lassies from a 20 mile radius of the town of Harrogate, but all living in the West Riding. One was given a technical/commercial/art education/pre nursing for 2 years, and if bright enough for the end of the second year took mock GCE exams/tests and were if passed allowed to proceed to the final year for GCE ‘O’ Level examinations, in a maximum of 6 subjects usually 2 or 3. We were hot house plants and carefully nurtured to our full potential, both boys and girls.
    In my second year ‘Fred’ was my form teacher in a technical class (Then for boys), and our football mentor-great footballer. One day in the January Term Fred asked the general form (28 Of Us) what we wished to become. Who did we wish to become? We progressed around the form, some would like to be draughtsmen/engineers in the textile industry/ some farmers/some again mechanics and motor engineers, and some for prestigious West Riding Companies; Me I blurted out the nuclear industry: the retort from ‘Fred’ was short, but that I would have to go on to higher education, and a possible degree. Then Fred (aged late 50’s) state he worked as a younger man in the Teesside area in the steel Industry, and had gained his qualification A.M.I. Mech.E at 32, and he encouraged us to join a professional body/learned society to better our careers: Fred asked us to think about what the qualification A.M.I.Mech.E was if we obtained it before the age of 32 we were bright young things!
    When I had my GCE’s they were not spectacular marks, but a least 4 passes, I had words with Dad, and my father’s family all from Liverpool were steeped in the seagoing industry in various positions of responsibility. Dad asked what I wished to do. I had my dreams- I wished to travel and be paid for doing so?
    The Local textile industry was a closed shop except for personal recommendations as were the local engineering companies. I thought of the aero industry and wrote off to Rolls Royce for an apprenticeship (Derby), and Dad said had I thought of the sea, My family were mainly deck officers, having been once deck cadets: However I believed the career tied me to the sea for a life time travelling the world- Not quite my ideal, I wished to be educated/trained by a seagoing company, become an engineer, and then seek out employment shore side, and have more of a family life based at home in the UK, or where my dreams took me.
    I applied to many a shipping company and was finally accepted by a British Oil industry Tanker company. I enjoyed my time the education and apprenticeship taught me the rudiments of life, while going to sea and ship board life took most of my corners off me to read understand and enjoy ones fellow shipmates company.
    I am still married have a family, and grand -children and great grandchildren. My travels while at sea where interesting, and my first ship as a senior officer I was permitted to be accompanied by Molly (My Wife-we had just got married)) and the next trip also some 18 months sea-time all told.
    So back to ‘Fred’ I was neared 40 years old when I achieved my A.M.I Mech.E having joined the institution while training 1959 –I was some 17, prior to my seagoing time. I did not waste my time; however been dutiful and attentive when a mentor says be good and see what you can achieve by a certain age, as one grows older; one inwardly respects the achievement of one self, and others who have trodden the boards before one?
    As I say memories and dreams, all for de-cluttering of the mind, but then a warm glow of friendship throughout life, and off course companionship and love from ones closest too one.

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