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Fairer rate for life medicals

Many GPs have had your experience. These medicals often take longer than the traditional 30 minutes. After some time without a BMA recommended fee an advisory figure of £60 has been agreed but the key word is 'advisory'.

Many practices now refuse to do the examination unless a realistic fee is paid and additional items charged separately. The best way to achieve this is to have a standard fax stating that the BMA rate is advisory only and the work involved justifies a higher fee. A fee of £90, for an examination only, is commonly achieved.

Extra items should be paid over and above this fee.

There are now no standard fees. They are all negotiable. A company may offer to pay £10 or £15 for you to take blood or saliva but how much do you think a consultant would charge for this? HIV testing requires counselling and written patient consent, involving more time. An ECG takes even longer especially if a report is included. Your time is worth at least £30 per 15 minutes. Use of your equipment, such as the ECG machine, is extra. So price extra items in your fax. Request at least £25 for blood/saliva tests, £30 for HIV counselling and £50 for an unreported ECG.

Your fax should have an agreement for the company to sign and fax back if it agrees. Refuse the work if you cannot get a fee you consider fair. If all GPs do this, more reasonable rates will follow.

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