BMA suggested fees to rise 11.3 per cent
The BMA has agreed an 11.3 per cent increase in its suggested fees for non-NHS services to ensure they keep pace with GPs' pay rise under the new contract.
Despite fears that companies will not have budgeted for such a hefty rise this year and that patients will not be able to afford it the association will recommend the rise when it publishes its list of new suggested fees shortly.
The BMA professional fees committee has pledged to press for a total rise of 25.5 per cent in suggested non-NHS fees over the next three years, in line with expected pay rises under the new GP contract.
The suggested increase covers non-NHS services that can only be provided by a
patient's own practice or GP, such as passport forms and photos, health club fitness forms, pre-employment medicals and fitness to travel certificates.
Dr Peter Holden, chair of the BMA's professional fees committee and a GPC negotiator, urged GPs to take a tough stance with both companies and patients who claimed they could not afford the 11.3 per cent rise.
He said: 'As a professional it's up to the GP to decide what to do with his or her
patients, but I don't go along with the "patients can't afford it" game.
'I'm sorry but I'm not a charity. The bottom line is we can't get enough doctors so the pay rise is going up.'