Fears of ‘two-tier NHS’ as GPs allow fee-paying patients to jump the queue

Paying for the privilege: a GP practice in Bournemouth is charging private patients up to £145 for faster and longer appointments [Image: Anthony Devlin/PA].

This is what happens when a Conservative government decides to shirk its responsibility to provide an adequate publicly-funded health service.

Because the Tories have deprived the NHS of the resources it needs to handle all cases properly and in good time, profiteers have started to split off and charge for services, meaning fewer facilities for the tax-funded operation.

If these breakaway firms are successful, more will follow until the Tories’ ambition – the privatisation-by-stealth of the National Health Service – is achieved.

If any Conservative voters are reading: Is this really what you wanted? And can you really afford £80 per appointment with your doctor?

Family doctors in Bournemouth have set up the first private GP service at which people who pay up to £145 a time will be seen faster and get longer appointments than their NHS patients.

The creation of the clinic has prompted fears that other GPs will follow suit and that NHS patients will become “second-class citizens” as general practice increasingly becomes a two-tier health service.

The three doctors running the Dorset Private GP service are offering “the unhurried, thorough, personal care we believe is best for patients” – at a price. Patients pay £40 for a 10-minute phone consultation, £80 for a 20-minute face-to-face appointment and £145 for 40 minutes with a GP.

Source: Fears of ‘two-tier NHS’ as GPs allow fee-paying patients to jump the queue | Society | The Guardian

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10 thoughts on “Fears of ‘two-tier NHS’ as GPs allow fee-paying patients to jump the queue

    1. wildswimmerpete

      @Barry Davies
      “One has to wonder how many people actually need a 10 minute appointment”………..those with complex conditions which most of us are facing, or will face, as we age. What about dealing with the consequences of stroke or heart failure, consequences that last for the rest of the patient’s life? An appointment a few minutes long?

  1. chriskitcher

    Suggest that patients who want to save the NHS register with other doctors in the locality thereby depriving this practice of NHS funding. Lest see how they survive then?

  2. wildswimmerpete

    I’ve just had to book an appointment with my GP: March 4th! Good job it’s routine as that was the very first available appointment. I trust that Dorset Private GP Service isn’t being subsidised with NHS funds?

  3. Dez

    I would like to have more in depth info as to exactly who these GP;s are and their backers and their true end game. Maybe they are just doctors looking to earn a buck from those that can afford it which they are gambling will be far more than they can earn as normal GPs….or maybe they are normal GPs making extra money on the side. Are they truly privateers with all their own investments and assets or are they providing add on services to an existing say private hospital or the like. Hopefully a really truthful newspaper that has some integrity will investigate deeply what is going on.

  4. Richard Harris

    £80 for twenty minutes. That’s £240 per hour. How can a GP, rewarded over the years so handsomely by the NHS, possibly justify this? It’s a scandal, but, sadly where the NHS is headed. Unfortunately, ill informed members of the public are hastening this process by ignoring it. Only yesterday I read a comment where somebody said they would ban all NHS treatment for smokers, drinkers and “fatties”. Even though they themselves admitted they had spent months in hospital over the years due to sports injuries. And such hypocrisy usually goes unchallenged

Comments are closed.