LMC Conference 2014: Campaigners warn against GP appointment charge

GP representatives were greeted by campaigners urging them to reject calls for appointment charges as they arrived for the annual LMC conference in York this morning.

LMC protest against appointment fees (Photo: Pete Hill)
LMC protest against appointment fees (Photo: Pete Hill)

Local people from the York Defend the NHS, Keep Our NHS Public and the People’s Assembly were protesting against proposals to be debated later today to support charges for some GP services.

A motion to be debated this afternoon, proposed by Wiltshire LMC, says it is 'no longer viable for general practice to provide all patients with all NHS services free at the point of delivery'. It drew sharp criticism within hours of the publication of the agenda document.

Read more: Why the GP proposing appointment fees thinks they could restore patients' trust

Gwen Vardigans from Defend the NHS told GP she was campaigning to keep the health service public and free.

'We are protesting against the possibility that there will be appointment charges and cancellation charges in GP.'

She said GPs should be able to tell patients the cost of their treatment to discourage misuse and that tax should be increased on the rich to properly fund the NHS.

Fees are thin end of the wedge

'Once you start changing for the NHS, it's the thin end of the wedge,' she said.

Graham Martin from York People's Assembly said it was 'dangerous to put the idea on the table' of charges as it could have public health implications, putting sick people off going to their GP, leading to increased pressure on expensive urgent care services.

'We are also here to make a broader point about the need to widen funding and look at things like tax avoidance which if we resolve we wouldn't be having this debate today.'

Campaigners said they had had a positive response from LMC representatives and that none had said they supported charges.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

General election 2019: five GPs elected as three lose seats

General election 2019: five GPs elected as three lose seats

Five GPs have been elected to parliament, while three high-profile GPs lost their...

What does the 2019 general election result mean for GPs?

What does the 2019 general election result mean for GPs?

General practice is struggling with a workforce in decline, rising demand and a share...

Practices report falling private fees income for second year running

Practices report falling private fees income for second year running

A third of GP practices have seen their income from private and professional fees...

New average fees released for GP private and professional work

New average fees released for GP private and professional work

GP practices can update their prices for non-NHS services following the publication...

Why manifesto promises of more GPs may not make general practice safer

Why manifesto promises of more GPs may not make general practice safer

Politicians of all stripes have promised more GPs during the general election campaign,...

Hyperhidrosis - red flag symptoms

Hyperhidrosis - red flag symptoms

Dr Anish Kotecha considers red flag symptoms to look out for in presentations of...