GPs should charge for unfunded services

GPs should be allowed to offer privately any services that primary care organisations (PCOs) are not willing or able to fund as NHS services, LMCs believe.

Representatives at the conference backed a motion demanding that the GPC negotiate a package with the DoH to allow practices to 'provide services privately to those registered with them' if PCOs will not pay.

Dr Kambiz Boomla, City and East London LMC member, said that, when NHS expenditure had more than doubled in the past decade, GPs demanding more opportunities to earn money may anger patients.

'I don't think the public will tolerate GPs on six-figure salaries charging to see them out-of-hours,' he said.

But North Essex LMC's Dr Richard Wright said there was a danger private firms would fill the gap: 'To refuse to fund a service that we could provide and that the patient needs, and then to refuse to allow us to provide it privately is asset stripping.'

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