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Thursday 24th October 2019

Forty-one per cent of GPs in favour of 'charging £25 for doctor's appointments'

Bid to cut unnecessary appointments

A new poll has revealed that four in 10 doctors think patients should pay £25 for doctor appointments.

The charge, some doctors argue, would cut demand and would put patients off visiting their doctor unless it was absolutely necessary.

Could doctors start charging for appointments? (Credit: Pexels)

Although I have previously opposed this, I now genuinely think that people don’t value healthcare services.

Read more: Mum who lied to get NHS nose job tells teen daughter to get plastic surgery

The Sun reports that the poll, carried out by GP Magazine Plus, asked 984 family doctors whether there should be a charge for patients to see their doctors or hospital consultants.

One even went as far as to say that a charge could have the same effect as charging for supermarket plastic bags, which has led to an 86 per cent decrease in usage.

The doctor was quoted as saying: "Although I have previously opposed this, I now genuinely think that people don’t value healthcare services.

"We get numerous did not attends, as does the hospital.

"Charging 5p for a carrier bag has reduced the number of unnecessary carrier bags as people think twice."

Forty-one per cent were in favour (Credit: Pexels)

While 41 per cent were in favour of the idea, another 41 per cent were not.

One doctor said: "We already charge people for their NHS care, through taxes.

"To charge again would be appalling. The poorest would get sicker."

Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb said: "Comparing a GP appointment to a carrier bag is really not helpful.

Reports claimed that the NHS was already charging for operations (Credit: Pexels)

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Elsewhere, reports claimed earlier in the summer that the NHS is charging patients as much as £8,500 for operations under a controversial system introduced in 2013.

Outraged patients have slammed the prices as "immoral" and claimed "privatisation is already here".

According to the Liverpool Echo, NHS Warrington and Halton Hospitals Trust is charging just under £8,500 for revision of knee replacement surgery and £7,000 for hip replacement surgery via its My Choice programme.

The system was brought in six years ago for those denied treatment for varicose veins, but since then the Trust has expanded it to include other types of surgery.

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