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GPs 'should charge for appointments' say patients

By Nigel Praities

Patients support introducing charges for GP appointments as opposed to tax increases to support the NHS, finds a major survey from a think-tank.

The series of workshops with members of the public, run by the Social Market Foundation think-tank this week, found there was ‘public appetite' for the introduction of fees for general practice appointments as a way of managing demand for NHS services in the future.

A survey of 1,000 English adults found over 59% of respondents said any shortfall in NHS funding should be addressed through some form of prioritisation rather than an increase in taxes.

‘Government should explore further the possibility of introducing some limited NHS charges to reduce demand if it can be shown that this will not have a negative impact on the health of the population or challenge the principle of equal access for equal need,' the report concludes.

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