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EU ruling means GPs will have to charge VAT on medical reports

Doctors' enthusiasm for the Government's £6 billion NHS IT modernisation programme is waning, with GPs the least supportive, a survey has found.

Fewer than half of GPs backed the National Programme for IT, compared with 65 per cent of hospital doctors.

Only 17 per cent of GPs believed the programme, which includes the national care record and electronic booking of hospital appointments, would bring improvements in care. Just one in eight said it would significantly improve their working lives.

Overall, 65 per cent of 852 doctors surveyed by Medix-UK considered the IT programme a priority for the NHS, down from 75 per cent in February.

Dr Paul Cundy, chair of the GPC's IT sub-committee, said GPs were less enthused because they already had good IT systems.

Dr Lisa Silver, a GP in Nettlebed, Oxfordshire, said many GPs were still computer illiterate. 'We've got GPs in their 40s who do not know what Word is or how to send an

e-mail. Unless the national programme grasps that nettle we won't get anywhere.'

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