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Doctors back Government review of co-payments, poll finds

Nearly three quarters of doctors back the Government's decision to review the controversial co-payment scheme for drugs, a poll has revealed.

71% of doctors surveyed said they thought the NHS would benefit from a co-payment system for drugs. Some 39% said they considered the chance to access new medicines to be the most important benefit of the proposed system of paying for top-up drugs.

Under existing rules, patients privately funding their treatment do so exclusively and are prohibited from benefitting from any NHS care.

The new co-payment plan will aim to allow patients access to free services in addition to their private 'top up' care.

The issue was discussed at the BMA's annual conference in Edinburgh earlier this week, where doctors called on the Government to order a Royal Commission to fully investigate the implications of introducing the scheme into effect.

BMA chair Dr Hamish Meldrum called for a wider debate on co-payments, and added: ‘Doctors want patients to have the choice to buy additional treatment that is not available on the NHS, without being forced to pay for all their treatment privately.'

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