GP service ‘is in real crisis’

Sir Tony Baldry has called for MP-led enquiries

Sir Tony Baldry has called for MP-led enquiries

First published in News Witney Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Health reporter, also covering Kidlington. Call me on 01865 425271

OVERWORKED GPs are suffering “burn-out” and some fear the closure of practices, a major survey of county doctors has found.

The study of more than 200 county medics by Oxfordshire GPs has led to the county’s NHS watchdog organisation warning patient care could suffer if action is not taken.

And one GP has said the current crisis could do “irreparable damage” to the service.

County results show 71 per cent said one or more GPs in their practice had “burn-out due to increasing and unsustainable pressure of work”.

And 79 per cent were unsure or believed their practice would not exist in 10 years.

The survey was carried out by Andrew McHugh, practice manager of Banbury’s Horsefair Surgery, with four GPs from the practice and two in Bicester.

He said: “It is now a matter of urgency that the root causes of the crisis are identified and addressed.”

Rachel Coney, chief executive of Healthwatch Oxfordshire, the official NHS watchdog, said it was “very concerned” but “not surprised”.

She said: “It is imperative for patients that steps are taken to alleviate these before the service is in such a state of crisis that patient care is seriously affected.”

Patients could struggle to see GPs if enough leave, she said, and this would damage attempts to relieve pressure on hospital departments like accident and emergency wards. On Friday, we reported how county A&E departments are not meeting a key waiting target, despite pressure traditionally easing in summer.

Abingdon Surgery GP Prit Buttar, chairman of the British Medical Association’s local medical committee, said: “These results don’t surprise me at all.

“This is a very real crisis, and I fear that it will do irreparable damage to the service that is the backbone of healthcare in this country.”

An ageing population, demands for better access to GPs, moving care from hospitals, “bureaucratic policies” and funding cuts caused pressure, he said.

He added the golf-playing fat-cat image of GPs was a fallacy.

He said: “The reality is I work 4.5 days in the practice and clock up nearly 50 hours in that time.”

Moves to train more GPs “will not solve the problem”, he said, if there is not enough funding to find them jobs.

The average GP working for a clinical commisioning group earns between £54,863 and £82,789 dependent on experience, according to the NHS.

The survey also revealed some 96 per cent said their practice is “experiencing an ever-increasing and unsus- tainable pressure of work”

while 47 per cent said general practice is “becoming increasing-ly unsustainable for the future”. 
Responses show 36 per cent found it hard to recruit salaried GPs and 51 per cent found it hard to recruit senior GP partners. 
Nearly half, 45 per cent, were planning a career break within five years while 36 per cent planned to leave in that time.
Between 220 and 230 GPs answered each question. It comes after Banbury MP Sir Tony Baldry called for Government and backbench MP-led inquiries “into the state of general practice” to see “what if any policy adjustments might be needed”. 
Alia Carter, spokeswoman for NHS England, said: “We acknow-ledge an increasing gap in recruitment and difficulties retaining GPs.” She said it is “committed” to working with NHS authorities and education groups and is looking into a study of the GP workforce. 
Andrew Smith, MP for Oxford East, said: “It’s clear there are mounting pressures on GP practices, in Oxford and across the country. I have taken up with the Government concerns local GPs have raised with me about financial pressures, recruitment and retention of GPs, difficulty in attracting medical students to enter careers as GPs, and the sustainability of some practices.
“It’s a real worry that patients may not always be able to count on the same standard of GP services they have had in the past. This is all adding to the pressures on accident and emergency at the JR.”

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Comments (18)

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9:01am Mon 4 Aug 14

yabbadabbadoo256 says...

never mind im sure their huge salary and expansive pensions will help ease the burden
never mind im sure their huge salary and expansive pensions will help ease the burden yabbadabbadoo256
  • Score: 0

9:40am Mon 4 Aug 14

Lord Palmerstone says...

A £10 appointment fee would seem reasonable. Plus why is such a high proportion of the entrants to medical schools female, when statistically they will contribute less hours over a working lifetime than males?
A £10 appointment fee would seem reasonable. Plus why is such a high proportion of the entrants to medical schools female, when statistically they will contribute less hours over a working lifetime than males? Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: -16

10:35am Mon 4 Aug 14

Oxonian says...

Lord Palmerstone wrote:
A £10 appointment fee would seem reasonable. Plus why is such a high proportion of the entrants to medical schools female, when statistically they will contribute less hours over a working lifetime than males?
What daft comments!

The NHS is (supposedly) free to everyone. Charging them £10 for an appointment would put many poor patients off making an appointment and we would be back to pre-NHS days, when many people couldn't afford to use a doctor (I know - I was there).

And what's the point of the remark about women trainees? If they can contribute to the health service, even if only for fewer hours, they will be very useful, especially when there is a shortage of GPs.
[quote][p][bold]Lord Palmerstone[/bold] wrote: A £10 appointment fee would seem reasonable. Plus why is such a high proportion of the entrants to medical schools female, when statistically they will contribute less hours over a working lifetime than males?[/p][/quote]What daft comments! The NHS is (supposedly) free to everyone. Charging them £10 for an appointment would put many poor patients off making an appointment and we would be back to pre-NHS days, when many people couldn't afford to use a doctor (I know - I was there). And what's the point of the remark about women trainees? If they can contribute to the health service, even if only for fewer hours, they will be very useful, especially when there is a shortage of GPs. Oxonian
  • Score: 24

10:52am Mon 4 Aug 14

Oxonian says...

yabbadabbadoo256 wrote:
never mind im sure their huge salary and expansive pensions will help ease the burden
As the Oxford Mail's Comment says: "The fact that recruiting GPs is becoming harder shows it is not the draw it once was."

GPs deserve all the pay they receive - and probably more. We need to attract more people to become GPs, so we have to pay them well.

And would you like to do the seven-year training and then work as a GP, even for the pay they receive?
[quote][p][bold]yabbadabbadoo256[/bold] wrote: never mind im sure their huge salary and expansive pensions will help ease the burden[/p][/quote]As the Oxford Mail's Comment says: "The fact that recruiting GPs is becoming harder shows it is not the draw it once was." GPs deserve all the pay they receive - and probably more. We need to attract more people to become GPs, so we have to pay them well. And would you like to do the seven-year training and then work as a GP, even for the pay they receive? Oxonian
  • Score: 7

11:51am Mon 4 Aug 14

Lord Palmerstone says...

Oxonian wrote:
Lord Palmerstone wrote:
A £10 appointment fee would seem reasonable. Plus why is such a high proportion of the entrants to medical schools female, when statistically they will contribute less hours over a working lifetime than males?
What daft comments!

The NHS is (supposedly) free to everyone. Charging them £10 for an appointment would put many poor patients off making an appointment and we would be back to pre-NHS days, when many people couldn't afford to use a doctor (I know - I was there).

And what's the point of the remark about women trainees? If they can contribute to the health service, even if only for fewer hours, they will be very useful, especially when there is a shortage of GPs.
On the contrary it would make everyone think a bit about whether they actually needed an appointment. As any economist will tell you the demand for a "free" good is infinite.
As to the second part, you are only right if there are no equally qualified male applicants. That may be the case or it may be "equality and diversity" hyperbabble. I don't know.
[quote][p][bold]Oxonian[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lord Palmerstone[/bold] wrote: A £10 appointment fee would seem reasonable. Plus why is such a high proportion of the entrants to medical schools female, when statistically they will contribute less hours over a working lifetime than males?[/p][/quote]What daft comments! The NHS is (supposedly) free to everyone. Charging them £10 for an appointment would put many poor patients off making an appointment and we would be back to pre-NHS days, when many people couldn't afford to use a doctor (I know - I was there). And what's the point of the remark about women trainees? If they can contribute to the health service, even if only for fewer hours, they will be very useful, especially when there is a shortage of GPs.[/p][/quote]On the contrary it would make everyone think a bit about whether they actually needed an appointment. As any economist will tell you the demand for a "free" good is infinite. As to the second part, you are only right if there are no equally qualified male applicants. That may be the case or it may be "equality and diversity" hyperbabble. I don't know. Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: -13

11:54am Mon 4 Aug 14

Lord Palmerstone says...

Oxonian wrote:
yabbadabbadoo256 wrote:
never mind im sure their huge salary and expansive pensions will help ease the burden
As the Oxford Mail's Comment says: "The fact that recruiting GPs is becoming harder shows it is not the draw it once was."

GPs deserve all the pay they receive - and probably more. We need to attract more people to become GPs, so we have to pay them well.

And would you like to do the seven-year training and then work as a GP, even for the pay they receive?
The disastrous labour party GP contract gave a shed load of cash to some. The Legal Aid contracts are being re-drawn. Why not the GP contracts? Replace the Labour disaster with a fair contract that benefits all GP's not just mega-rich partners in some GP practices.
[quote][p][bold]Oxonian[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]yabbadabbadoo256[/bold] wrote: never mind im sure their huge salary and expansive pensions will help ease the burden[/p][/quote]As the Oxford Mail's Comment says: "The fact that recruiting GPs is becoming harder shows it is not the draw it once was." GPs deserve all the pay they receive - and probably more. We need to attract more people to become GPs, so we have to pay them well. And would you like to do the seven-year training and then work as a GP, even for the pay they receive?[/p][/quote]The disastrous labour party GP contract gave a shed load of cash to some. The Legal Aid contracts are being re-drawn. Why not the GP contracts? Replace the Labour disaster with a fair contract that benefits all GP's not just mega-rich partners in some GP practices. Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: -2

12:01pm Mon 4 Aug 14

bicesterlady says...

Lord Palmerstone wrote:
A £10 appointment fee would seem reasonable. Plus why is such a high proportion of the entrants to medical schools female, when statistically they will contribute less hours over a working lifetime than males?
You truly are a new man.....
[quote][p][bold]Lord Palmerstone[/bold] wrote: A £10 appointment fee would seem reasonable. Plus why is such a high proportion of the entrants to medical schools female, when statistically they will contribute less hours over a working lifetime than males?[/p][/quote]You truly are a new man..... bicesterlady
  • Score: 4

1:12pm Mon 4 Aug 14

oafie says...

He said: “The reality is I work 4.5 days in the practice and clock up nearly 50 hours in that time.”
REALLY- LIKE MOST OF US THEN!.



The average GP working for a clinical commisioning group earns between £54,863 and £82,789 dependent on experience, according to the NHS.
He said: “The reality is I work 4.5 days in the practice and clock up nearly 50 hours in that time.” REALLY- LIKE MOST OF US THEN!. The average GP working for a clinical commisioning group earns between £54,863 and £82,789 dependent on experience, according to the NHS. oafie
  • Score: 1

1:54pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Oxonian says...

Lord Palmerstone wrote:
Oxonian wrote:
Lord Palmerstone wrote:
A £10 appointment fee would seem reasonable. Plus why is such a high proportion of the entrants to medical schools female, when statistically they will contribute less hours over a working lifetime than males?
What daft comments!

The NHS is (supposedly) free to everyone. Charging them £10 for an appointment would put many poor patients off making an appointment and we would be back to pre-NHS days, when many people couldn't afford to use a doctor (I know - I was there).

And what's the point of the remark about women trainees? If they can contribute to the health service, even if only for fewer hours, they will be very useful, especially when there is a shortage of GPs.
On the contrary it would make everyone think a bit about whether they actually needed an appointment. As any economist will tell you the demand for a "free" good is infinite.
As to the second part, you are only right if there are no equally qualified male applicants. That may be the case or it may be "equality and diversity" hyperbabble. I don't know.
Charging people for a doctor's appointment might make them "think a bit" but it might well deter poor people who just can't afford it - and they might instead go to the overcrowded A & E departments.

As to your second point, we know that there are insufficient applicants to train as GPs, so it wouldn't be "hyperbabble" to use as many female applicants as possible.
[quote][p][bold]Lord Palmerstone[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Oxonian[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lord Palmerstone[/bold] wrote: A £10 appointment fee would seem reasonable. Plus why is such a high proportion of the entrants to medical schools female, when statistically they will contribute less hours over a working lifetime than males?[/p][/quote]What daft comments! The NHS is (supposedly) free to everyone. Charging them £10 for an appointment would put many poor patients off making an appointment and we would be back to pre-NHS days, when many people couldn't afford to use a doctor (I know - I was there). And what's the point of the remark about women trainees? If they can contribute to the health service, even if only for fewer hours, they will be very useful, especially when there is a shortage of GPs.[/p][/quote]On the contrary it would make everyone think a bit about whether they actually needed an appointment. As any economist will tell you the demand for a "free" good is infinite. As to the second part, you are only right if there are no equally qualified male applicants. That may be the case or it may be "equality and diversity" hyperbabble. I don't know.[/p][/quote]Charging people for a doctor's appointment might make them "think a bit" but it might well deter poor people who just can't afford it - and they might instead go to the overcrowded A & E departments. As to your second point, we know that there are insufficient applicants to train as GPs, so it wouldn't be "hyperbabble" to use as many female applicants as possible. Oxonian
  • Score: 10

1:56pm Mon 4 Aug 14

SteveinSC says...

Lord Palmerstone wrote:
Oxonian wrote:
Lord Palmerstone wrote:
A £10 appointment fee would seem reasonable. Plus why is such a high proportion of the entrants to medical schools female, when statistically they will contribute less hours over a working lifetime than males?
What daft comments!

The NHS is (supposedly) free to everyone. Charging them £10 for an appointment would put many poor patients off making an appointment and we would be back to pre-NHS days, when many people couldn't afford to use a doctor (I know - I was there).

And what's the point of the remark about women trainees? If they can contribute to the health service, even if only for fewer hours, they will be very useful, especially when there is a shortage of GPs.
On the contrary it would make everyone think a bit about whether they actually needed an appointment. As any economist will tell you the demand for a "free" good is infinite.
As to the second part, you are only right if there are no equally qualified male applicants. That may be the case or it may be "equality and diversity" hyperbabble. I don't know.
What do you mean "free" good - we already pay for this via our national insurance contributions. I'll be happy to pay a £10 appointment fee -provided I also get a rebate on the NI tax I already pay.
[quote][p][bold]Lord Palmerstone[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Oxonian[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lord Palmerstone[/bold] wrote: A £10 appointment fee would seem reasonable. Plus why is such a high proportion of the entrants to medical schools female, when statistically they will contribute less hours over a working lifetime than males?[/p][/quote]What daft comments! The NHS is (supposedly) free to everyone. Charging them £10 for an appointment would put many poor patients off making an appointment and we would be back to pre-NHS days, when many people couldn't afford to use a doctor (I know - I was there). And what's the point of the remark about women trainees? If they can contribute to the health service, even if only for fewer hours, they will be very useful, especially when there is a shortage of GPs.[/p][/quote]On the contrary it would make everyone think a bit about whether they actually needed an appointment. As any economist will tell you the demand for a "free" good is infinite. As to the second part, you are only right if there are no equally qualified male applicants. That may be the case or it may be "equality and diversity" hyperbabble. I don't know.[/p][/quote]What do you mean "free" good - we already pay for this via our national insurance contributions. I'll be happy to pay a £10 appointment fee -provided I also get a rebate on the NI tax I already pay. SteveinSC
  • Score: 3

1:59pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Oxonian says...

Lord Palmerstone wrote:
Oxonian wrote:
yabbadabbadoo256 wrote:
never mind im sure their huge salary and expansive pensions will help ease the burden
As the Oxford Mail's Comment says: "The fact that recruiting GPs is becoming harder shows it is not the draw it once was."

GPs deserve all the pay they receive - and probably more. We need to attract more people to become GPs, so we have to pay them well.

And would you like to do the seven-year training and then work as a GP, even for the pay they receive?
The disastrous labour party GP contract gave a shed load of cash to some. The Legal Aid contracts are being re-drawn. Why not the GP contracts? Replace the Labour disaster with a fair contract that benefits all GP's not just mega-rich partners in some GP practices.
The Labour Party gave generous cash to doctors to persuade them to join the NHS - and it succeeded.

I assume the contract pays every GP equally, so "mega-rich partners in some GP practices" are unlikely to get more money than other doctors.

Trying to re-draw GPs' contracts (so as to pay them less) would almost certainly result in many GPs leaving the NHS, which would just make matters worse.
[quote][p][bold]Lord Palmerstone[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Oxonian[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]yabbadabbadoo256[/bold] wrote: never mind im sure their huge salary and expansive pensions will help ease the burden[/p][/quote]As the Oxford Mail's Comment says: "The fact that recruiting GPs is becoming harder shows it is not the draw it once was." GPs deserve all the pay they receive - and probably more. We need to attract more people to become GPs, so we have to pay them well. And would you like to do the seven-year training and then work as a GP, even for the pay they receive?[/p][/quote]The disastrous labour party GP contract gave a shed load of cash to some. The Legal Aid contracts are being re-drawn. Why not the GP contracts? Replace the Labour disaster with a fair contract that benefits all GP's not just mega-rich partners in some GP practices.[/p][/quote]The Labour Party gave generous cash to doctors to persuade them to join the NHS - and it succeeded. I assume the contract pays every GP equally, so "mega-rich partners in some GP practices" are unlikely to get more money than other doctors. Trying to re-draw GPs' contracts (so as to pay them less) would almost certainly result in many GPs leaving the NHS, which would just make matters worse. Oxonian
  • Score: 9

2:09pm Mon 4 Aug 14

yabbadabbadoo256 says...

oafie wrote:
He said: “The reality is I work 4.5 days in the practice and clock up nearly 50 hours in that time.”
REALLY- LIKE MOST OF US THEN!.



The average GP working for a clinical commisioning group earns between £54,863 and £82,789 dependent on experience, according to the NHS.
Dont forget the additional "private" work..
[quote][p][bold]oafie[/bold] wrote: He said: “The reality is I work 4.5 days in the practice and clock up nearly 50 hours in that time.” REALLY- LIKE MOST OF US THEN!. The average GP working for a clinical commisioning group earns between £54,863 and £82,789 dependent on experience, according to the NHS.[/p][/quote]Dont forget the additional "private" work.. yabbadabbadoo256
  • Score: 0

2:20pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Lord Palmerstone says...

"The Labour Party gave generous cash to doctors to persuade them to join the NHS - and it succeeded.

I assume the contract pays every GP equally, so "mega-rich partners in some GP practices" are unlikely to get more money than other doctors.

Trying to re-draw GPs' contracts (so as to pay them less) would almost certainly result in many GPs leaving the NHS, which would just make matters worse"
"GPs were so stunned by the terms offered to them when negotiating their new contract that they thought it was a "bit of a laugh", a doctor has said.
Dr Simon Fradd, who was one of British Medical Association's GP negotiators, said they were shocked by the approach taken by the government.

They could not believe it when GPs were given the chance not to do evening and weekend work for a 6% pay cut, he said.

Since the deal started in 2004, average GP pay has topped the £100,000 barrier.

While doctors now make less in basic pay - about £55,000 on average - they have been able to top-up their earnings by hitting targets under a performance-related bonus scheme"
Source? The BBC, and no, it would be clear to most people that I was talking of Labour's 2004 GP Contract, not Aneurin Bevan's "we have sold out to the doctors"
But if I was a GP I'd sure vote Labour.
"The Labour Party gave generous cash to doctors to persuade them to join the NHS - and it succeeded. I assume the contract pays every GP equally, so "mega-rich partners in some GP practices" are unlikely to get more money than other doctors. Trying to re-draw GPs' contracts (so as to pay them less) would almost certainly result in many GPs leaving the NHS, which would just make matters worse" "GPs were so stunned by the terms offered to them when negotiating their new contract that they thought it was a "bit of a laugh", a doctor has said. Dr Simon Fradd, who was one of British Medical Association's GP negotiators, said they were shocked by the approach taken by the government. They could not believe it when GPs were given the chance not to do evening and weekend work for a 6% pay cut, he said. Since the deal started in 2004, average GP pay has topped the £100,000 barrier. While doctors now make less in basic pay - about £55,000 on average - they have been able to top-up their earnings by hitting targets under a performance-related bonus scheme" Source? The BBC, and no, it would be clear to most people that I was talking of Labour's 2004 GP Contract, not Aneurin Bevan's "we have sold out to the doctors" But if I was a GP I'd sure vote Labour. Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: -4

2:25pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Lord Palmerstone says...

"What do you mean "free" good - we already pay for this via our national insurance contributions. I'll be happy to pay a £10 appointment fee -provided I also get a rebate on the NI tax I already pay"
I mean "free at the point of provision" which I think everyone else would have understood. I have paid significant sums , being a higher rate tax payer, for the NHS. I pray I never receive my money's worth back. But it's worth noting that most is spent on the over 60/65's who don't pay National Insurance Tax.
"What do you mean "free" good - we already pay for this via our national insurance contributions. I'll be happy to pay a £10 appointment fee -provided I also get a rebate on the NI tax I already pay" I mean "free at the point of provision" which I think everyone else would have understood. I have paid significant sums , being a higher rate tax payer, for the NHS. I pray I never receive my money's worth back. But it's worth noting that most is spent on the over 60/65's who don't pay National Insurance Tax. Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: -4

1:49pm Tue 5 Aug 14

riman09 says...

How can recruiting more trainee doctors offer no relief? Surely there is a natural need to fill in the gaps, as well as anything else that helps?
How can recruiting more trainee doctors offer no relief? Surely there is a natural need to fill in the gaps, as well as anything else that helps? riman09
  • Score: 4

3:18pm Tue 5 Aug 14

Lord Palmerstone says...

riman09 wrote:
How can recruiting more trainee doctors offer no relief? Surely there is a natural need to fill in the gaps, as well as anything else that helps?
When the revolting Castro Brothers go to their very hot just desserts and Cuba is free, there'll be loads of Cuban doctors looking for work internationally.
[quote][p][bold]riman09[/bold] wrote: How can recruiting more trainee doctors offer no relief? Surely there is a natural need to fill in the gaps, as well as anything else that helps?[/p][/quote]When the revolting Castro Brothers go to their very hot just desserts and Cuba is free, there'll be loads of Cuban doctors looking for work internationally. Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: -4

2:17am Sun 10 Aug 14

The New Private Eye says...

Oxonian wrote:
Lord Palmerstone wrote:
A £10 appointment fee would seem reasonable. Plus why is such a high proportion of the entrants to medical schools female, when statistically they will contribute less hours over a working lifetime than males?
What daft comments!

The NHS is (supposedly) free to everyone. Charging them £10 for an appointment would put many poor patients off making an appointment and we would be back to pre-NHS days, when many people couldn't afford to use a doctor (I know - I was there).

And what's the point of the remark about women trainees? If they can contribute to the health service, even if only for fewer hours, they will be very useful, especially when there is a shortage of GPs.
Except when they start having their baybees and take years off on their full pay of £80K+ That is the reason for so many female medical students.
[quote][p][bold]Oxonian[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lord Palmerstone[/bold] wrote: A £10 appointment fee would seem reasonable. Plus why is such a high proportion of the entrants to medical schools female, when statistically they will contribute less hours over a working lifetime than males?[/p][/quote]What daft comments! The NHS is (supposedly) free to everyone. Charging them £10 for an appointment would put many poor patients off making an appointment and we would be back to pre-NHS days, when many people couldn't afford to use a doctor (I know - I was there). And what's the point of the remark about women trainees? If they can contribute to the health service, even if only for fewer hours, they will be very useful, especially when there is a shortage of GPs.[/p][/quote]Except when they start having their baybees and take years off on their full pay of £80K+ That is the reason for so many female medical students. The New Private Eye
  • Score: -1

1:06pm Thu 14 Aug 14

Carole Fenstermacher says...

Oxonian wrote:
Lord Palmerstone wrote:
A £10 appointment fee would seem reasonable. Plus why is such a high proportion of the entrants to medical schools female, when statistically they will contribute less hours over a working lifetime than males?
What daft comments!

The NHS is (supposedly) free to everyone. Charging them £10 for an appointment would put many poor patients off making an appointment and we would be back to pre-NHS days, when many people couldn't afford to use a doctor (I know - I was there).

And what's the point of the remark about women trainees? If they can contribute to the health service, even if only for fewer hours, they will be very useful, especially when there is a shortage of GPs.
Maybe if they charged people that amount who didn't belong to the NHS,it might help.
[quote][p][bold]Oxonian[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lord Palmerstone[/bold] wrote: A £10 appointment fee would seem reasonable. Plus why is such a high proportion of the entrants to medical schools female, when statistically they will contribute less hours over a working lifetime than males?[/p][/quote]What daft comments! The NHS is (supposedly) free to everyone. Charging them £10 for an appointment would put many poor patients off making an appointment and we would be back to pre-NHS days, when many people couldn't afford to use a doctor (I know - I was there). And what's the point of the remark about women trainees? If they can contribute to the health service, even if only for fewer hours, they will be very useful, especially when there is a shortage of GPs.[/p][/quote]Maybe if they charged people that amount who didn't belong to the NHS,it might help. Carole Fenstermacher
  • Score: -1

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