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Reform UK pledges private GP for patients left waiting for appointment

Reform UK pledges private GP for patients left waiting for appointment

Reform UK has pledged to give patients a ‘voucher for private treatment’ if they cannot see a GP within three days.

Nigel Farage launched his party’s manifesto, which he called ‘Our Contract with You’, at an event in Wales on Monday. 

He called for an ‘absolutely radical rethink’ of the way public services are run, including the NHS.

The party’s ‘contract’ stated that after the first 100 days in Government, they would aim to ‘put patients in charge with a new NHS voucher scheme’. 

‘NHS Patients will receive a voucher for private treatment if they can’t see a GP within three days. For a consultant it would be three weeks. For an operation, nine weeks. Services will always be free at the point of use,’ the document said. 

The contract also promised to ‘end doctor and nurse shortages’ by allowing all NHS staff to pay zero basic rate tax for three years and by writing off student fees pro rata per year over 10 years of NHS service for all medical staff.

To boost private healthcare, the party would also provide a 20% tax relief on all private healthcare to ‘improve care for all by relieving pressure on the NHS’.

The party has claimed that these policies form part of a ‘fully funded plan for zero NHS waiting lists’, and in total, the pledges for the NHS would cost £17bn per annum.

Mr Farage said: ‘It’s been very, very difficult to have any conversation about the NHS over the course of the 25 years that I’ve been in politics without someone pointing and screaming “you want to privatise it”. 

‘All we want is an NHS that is free at the point of the delivery that actually works. And how we get there, frankly, I don’t think most people could give a damn about.’

He also admitted that Reform UK, which began six years ago as the Brexit Party, will not win this election, but it is the ‘first important step on the road to 2029’. 

In response to the new ‘contract’, BMA council chair Professor Philip Banfield said there are ‘highly ambitious goals’ but ‘large questions remain about the claimed costs and savings’ behind some of the proposals.

He continued: ‘Of course we want to get NHS waiting lists down, but at a near-record 7.7 million procedures outstanding, we must be realistic and not falsely raise patients’ hopes.

‘To abolish NHS waits, you need to invest in rebuilding the NHS, not overpromise the private sector or mass outsourcing overseas as some kind of panacea.’

Ahead of the general election on 4 July, the Conservative Party has pledged to build 100 new GP surgeries, while Labour has announced plans to ‘reform’ primary care by trialling ‘neighbourhood health centres’.

And the Greens have promised that any MPs elected this year will ‘push for’ increased funding to primary care, with an aim for additional annual spending to reach £1.5bn by 2030.

Earlier this month, GPs told Pulse that increased use of private healthcare is generating more work in general practice.



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Dylan Summers 18 June, 2024 11:32 am

OK so can anyone see any possible problem with this scheme?

Like… where will those private GPs come from? Oh, they will be the same NHS GPs now swapping their sessions from NHS to private. Nice work if you can get it I suppose.

Andrew Jackson 18 June, 2024 1:02 pm

I wonder what the price of a GP consultation will be valued at?

J Smith 18 June, 2024 1:57 pm

I am voting for Reform now. Let the PAs help partners, off to Private land. Thanks Reform

J Smith 18 June, 2024 2:00 pm

Hospital consultant see NHS patients in private hospitals like Spire and Circle, paid by NHS to reduce the waiting time. Why cann’t GPs do the same? Brilliant idea by Reform.

Prometheus Unbound 18 June, 2024 2:18 pm

Well if it is a reasonable > £60, then nhs practices could hire locums on private basis and cover all costs 🤣😊😎

Rogue 1 18 June, 2024 3:09 pm

So does that mean GPs can now charge a private fee?

Simon Gilbert 18 June, 2024 3:28 pm

Their policy is halfway there. I would give equivalent vouchers for all care, valid both with or without top up payments. This could include the GP capitation based on individual risk profile scores for that year.

Dave Haddock 18 June, 2024 5:20 pm

None of the mainstream parties have either a plausible plan or the courage to fix the NHS.

Post Doc 19 June, 2024 11:39 am

CDs on ICB Boards and PCNs will be first to get their noses in the trough.