Extra cash if GPs open until 10pm
GPs will be offered extra cash to hold evening surgeries if Labour wins a third term.
The incentives for practices to offer slots between 6pm and 10pm will be part of the party's election manifesto, a 'senior MP' has told a national newspaper.
'Doctors' surgeries are structured so OAPs and the unemployed get the best
from them,' the MP told the
'This is all well and good but we have to make provisions for those who make the biggest financial contribution to the NHS through taxes.'
The comments came as former Health Secretary Alan Milburn told a conference that patients should have a legal right to a minimum standard of health care, such as waiting no more than three months for hospital treatment.
Mr Milburn, who is helping draft Labour's manifesto, added 'cash would follow choice' practices that offered more services would get more money.
He said: 'The old-style take- it-or-leave-it-like-it-or-lump-it attitude weakened public attachment to public services. Expanding choice over public services can strengthen it.'
The Government has already published a white paper revealing plans to increase choice by allowing patients to register with a practice close to work as well as their home.
GPs said late opening would have to be commissioned as an enhanced service by primary care organisations.
But they added practices were struggling to find staff to cover existing hours.
GPC chair Dr John Chis-holm said the UK had 'nothing like enough GPs'. He added: 'To expect surgeries to be routinely open into the evening will put some younger doctors off', and dual registration 'made more sense'.