The DoH has confirmed that the cost of the two surveys, covering access and Choose and Book, could be as high as £11 million. This includes the hiring of market research firm Ipsos MORI as well as postage, writing questionnaires and analysis.
However GPs, including Kent LMC medical secretary Dr Mike Parks, believed the cost was too high. 'I can't believe that this couldn't have been done any cheaper,' he said.
He was particularly critical of the survey into Choose and Book, which is asking two million patients who are referred on to hospital whether they have been offered a choice as, 'another example of how little the government trusts us'.
'All these cards will do is tell the government what we could have told it for free, that we are doing our job properly,' Dr Parks said.
GPC chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum said: 'We thought the total cost was £13 million. We have always said that this was an expensive waste of resources.'