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At the heart of general practice since 1960

We have no need to defend charges

I was shocked to read NHS Alliance chair Dr Mike Dixon state 'It would be difficult to defend private care provided by the same doctors in the same premises as GMS' (January 20).

I believe it is axiomatic that patients must be charged to improve patient care. I wish to work in a clinical service that provides high-quality care to meet all patient medical needs but that attempts to make it supply all patient medical wants cannot be successful.

I personally do not want to decide which are wants and which are needs

but feel that the community, which after all finances the NHS, should decide which is which and not the doctors and nurses.

Any system without boundaries, such as GMS at present, cannot be stable. We must have boundaries within which NHS care may be delivered so that patients can choose whether to pay for anything else they desire.

If the 20th Century taught nothing else it established that free enterprise market-driven systems of delivery out-perform centralised state systems. Who wants to buy their food in GUM when they can have Tesco?

Dr Dixon doesn't need to defend the practice of charging NHS patients for extra services. All we need for this is to contact our dental colleagues.

Dr Lewis Miller


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