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GPs told they must register people staying with friends, homeless and boat-dwellers


Could you claim benefits without proving your identity or address? Could your child apply to a school without proving they were within the catchment? Am I allowed to refuse to give my address to the Inland Revenue? Should I go on or treat readers' intelligence with a little more respect than the DoH does? I couldn't care less about fighting illegal immigration at the reception desk. Of course that should not be our role. But at a time when closing lists is made so difficult, GPs should be able to know who they are registering and whether they are obliged to. Otherwise the better performing practices will become victims of their own success with patients refusing to tell them when they move out of the catchment area. I have personal experience of being unable to contact patients about urgent results for this very reason. The discrimination argument is flawed. Take the domestic violence reason for not giving an address. How will anybody manage child protection issues if they don’t know where they live? What name should be used to create a patient record? And what name should you put on a prescription? How about drug dependent patients who could simply register at multiple practices? Who would know? It is one thing to provide healthcare free at the point of service but surely it is not too much to ask somebody to prove who they are.

Posted date

20 Nov 2015

Posted time