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Factor in making patient charges

It would be totally unnecessary for practices to collect cash from patients, as Dr Meldrum suggests (News, May 10), if patients were charged after the first five consultations .

Collection of debts should be managed by a factor – a standard commercial practice.

All that would be needed would be a note made in the patient's file and two copies of a bill produced by the practice computer.

One copy would be given to the patient and the other sold to the factor, either direct or via the PCT at an agreed percentage, say 60 per cent, of the amount shown on it.

The factor would collect 100 per cent of the amount from the patient, the difference paying for his effort in collecting and a profit.

Dr Francis Darcy

Frenchay, Bristol

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