Letters, calls and emails: Why can't patients pay my defence union fees?

Dear Editor

I have just received my renewal notice from my defence union.

While I value the superb work it does on our behalf, I resent having to pay £4,750.

In most other businesses, expenses are passed on to the customer. Why shouldn't we pass on our defence union and GMC fees to patients?

Assuming that most GPs work eight sessions a week, and that most doctors would have about six weeks a year away from the practice (annual leave, study leave, etc), this means each GP undertakes approximately 5,520 consultations a year.

GMC and defence union fees combined are approximately £5,000.

I feel that we should be able to charge approximately 90p per consultation to our patients to cover our expenses. I have spoken to numerous fellow GPs who feel that this is justifiable and fair.

I would welcome the opinions of other GPs.

Dr Awais Mir, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

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