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Headline

LMCs draw up explosive 'plan B' to take GP practices outside the NHS

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I remember as a child well before I went to medical school or even contemplated medicine as a career when the prescription charge of 6d (decimal 2.5p) was introduced in I believe in 1966 (I maybe wrong as I was very young at the time) and I recall experts saying people wouldn't be able to afford scripts and the outrage at having to pay for medicines by some of the population. In fact the number of prescriptions filled went up I believe by 10% as they now had value. I work in Oz and have done so for decades. It seems to me, if the National religion of America is the right to bear arms then the right to free health care is the National religion of Great Britain. I charge a fee for most patients and the government issues a rebate that is paid back into their account usually that day or the next day. The internet is quite effective these days. I can choose to accept the governments very low rebate should I so choose to make the consult free. It is up to me to assess the patient's ability to pay and by and large the profession gets it right. Waiting times are non existent and specialist referrals I can mostly get seen within weeks if I twist my mates' arms. I understand that there are many patients who say they cannot pay in Britain. My reply is why do you drag the whole population down to the lowest common denominator and by the way how does that result in quality care. Last time I was in the UK I ran out of Pregabalin and was told by a GP it was"Black banned".I then asked for a private script and paid for it and sent the bill to my health fund to be rebated. No worries. My friends and colleagues,there are many examples of how to fund health care in the world. America is one extreme example as is the NHS. Both appall me. There are many other middle road examples and as is often the case with many problems the middle road is often the best course. The Republic of Ireland is another example with non free health care and better morbidity and mortality statistics. Look at the longevity statistics of Australia versus those of the UK. Is"free health care" killing your patients? I suspect GPs might have to charge some patients in the UK. Now I have committed sacrilege. Sorry.

Posted date

30 Oct 2016

Posted time

3:54pm

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