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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.'

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