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GPs paid to keep patients out of hospital

Pulse's story last week about GPs in Oxfordshire being paid not to refer patients to hospital has been picked up by the national media over the last couple of days.

Pulse's story last week about GPs in Oxfordshire being paid not to refer patients to hospital has been picked up by the national media over the last couple of days.



The stories, which all follow up Pulse's October 15 story, have a depressingly predictable slant that GPs 'already on £110,000 a year' can get more money - from £1 to £20,000 depending on how you put the numbers together - for such a ridiculous and 'unethical' practice.

The Sunday Telegraph put the story - Doctors paid thousands not to send patients to hospital for treatment - on its front page, claiming there were 'dozens' of such schemes in existence, though only directly identifying two more, in Torbay and Hampshire.

The Times has a very similar story today - GPs paid 1 a time not to refer patients to hospital - and two other papers also have stories, respectively headlined How sick! GPs paid bonus to NOT send you to hospital" and "GPs paid to reduce hospital referrals".

Little game for you. Guess which of the two is the Daily Mail and which is The Independent?

Are there similar schemes in your area? Have you benefited? What do you think about them? Looking beyond the obvious headlines around patients denied hospital treatment and urgent cases being missed, are there sensible reasons for such schemes?

Pulse team blog

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