Video: BMA deputy chair warns GPs against NHS co-payments

The BMA deputy chair has spoken out against proposals for co-payments as LMCs voted to draw up a potential charging system for some general practice services.

GP leaders at the LMC conference 2017 in Edinburgh backed calls for the the GPC to produce a 'discussion paper outlining alternative funding options for general practice, including co-payments'.

The debate came on the same day as a motion in which GP leaders reasserted their view that GP practices should be allowed to charge patients for services not available on the NHS.

Lancashire GP and BMA deputy chair Dr David Wrigley said that 10 years ago this subject would not even have been on the table for GPs.

GP funding

Only 'gross underinvestment' in general practice had driven GPs to the point where they were talking about considering introducing charges for some NHS services, he told GPonline.

He warned that asking patients to pay for services was unfair, adding: 'It will lead to GPs getting the blame for introducing and talking about these things when actually politicians are the ones who have brought this about.

'The NHS is so underfunded that we are seeing general practice is collapsing, we are seeing surgeries close, the workload is intolerable and as we've seen in surveys GPs don't feel they can provide a safe service - that has led them to the nuclear option of [considering] introducing charges to try and stem demand.'

He warned that the move would be the first step towards switching to an insurance-based NHS model.

Full coverage of LMC conference 2017

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

GP at Hand should only be allowed to provide NHS 111 services, says BMA

GP at Hand should only be allowed to provide NHS 111 services, says BMA

Babylon GP at Hand should no longer be allowed to register patients and instead be...

A financial guide for GP locums

A financial guide for GP locums

Medical accountant Jenny Stone provides a guide to pensions, setting your fees and...

Paying tax as a GP locum

Paying tax as a GP locum

Medical accountant Jenny Stone explains how you pay your tax as a GP locum.

DNA testing could be part of NHS health checks under government plans

DNA testing could be part of NHS health checks under government plans

The DHSC has launched a review of NHS health checks, with a view to introducing a...

Most GPs now see locum work as most attractive career option, poll reveals

Most GPs now see locum work as most attractive career option, poll reveals

More than half of GPs now believe locum work is the most attractive career option...

Patients in deprived areas find it harder to get GP appointments

Patients in deprived areas find it harder to get GP appointments

Three out of five people living in the most deprived areas in England find it difficult...