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The DNA: the last true perk of primary care

Charge patients for DNAs? As in, actually penalise patients financially for not turning up to my surgery? Are these people crazy?

These people, in case you missed it, are the members of a think-tank which recently published a study on the future funding of healthcare

Come on, be honest. Hands up all those GP readers who really do get narked by patients who DNA as opposed to think they should make a show of appearing to be narked by patients who DNA? Exactly. After all, we GPs work in a uniquely freebie-free zone. Gone are the days of the lavish pharma-sponsored curry followed by welcome samples of a GORD-busting PPI. We don’t get so much as a free pen these days. There’s not even any point in nicking paper-clips or post it notes given that we pay for them in the first place.

So the DNA is just about the only true perk of primary care. I cannot help but feel unfairly treated if I have a surgery with no DNAs at all. One I view as my right. Two a bonus. And three a caffeinated gift from the gods of general practice. The only reason I don’t actually book patients a follow-up appointment and then pay them not to attend is because I’ve only just thought of it as I wrote that last sentence.

There is, however, a charge I would like to apply to some patients. It involves those who use ‘chronic disease reviews’ as an excuse to present multiple other problems. Oh, and 20,000 volts.