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Real reasons for eight-till-eight

From Dr Liz Williams

Basingstoke

There are only two reasons for opening surgeries from eight-till-eight, neither associated with marketing.

First, if patients are ill they need to be seen, but the Government has funded NHS Direct and many nurses and paramedics to run a comprehensive out-of-hours service from 6pm to 8am.

Second, to give patients check-ups to gain QOF points (the cost-effectiveness of check-ups on patients otherwise well enough to work has not been proven).

Now if we reflect on the excellent 'Yes Prime Minister' letter (19 November) regarding QOF payments and the new GMS contract, we may see the point. What price health (for ourselves and/or our patients)?

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