Front-line NHS services are struggling and seeing a doctor is more difficult than ever, so would you pay £10 to see a GP?
This is just one of the many suggestions that has been put forward recently in an attempt to reduce pressure of vital front line NHS resources and raise money for the underfunded service.
Many people are understandably against paying £10 to see a GP. After all, when the NHS was created it was supposed to be free at the point of delivery. However, others already pay to see a dentist and some experts are arguing that people who are better off should pay for basic services.
Means tested NHS
The problem with asking those who ‘can afford it’ to pay to see a GP is that society begins to slide down a slippery slope of means testing use of the NHS. This could be an expensive and bureaucratic process for a service already under pressure from existing rules and regulations.
A free NHS is something to be proud of
Expecting people to pay £10 to see a GP means that the privatisation of the NHS would have commenced and it would open the floodgates for more areas to be privatised.
Our NHS must remain free – it’s the world leading example in how free healthcare should be.
Give tax breaks to those who pay for private healthcare
The lucky amongst us can afford to pay for private healthcare. Of course, the more people who pay for private healthcare the less stress their is on the NHS.
However, private healthcare is very expensive. Perhaps one answer would be to offer some sort of tax relief for those people who pay for their own healthcare? Private healthcare is already exempt from VAT but perhaps it would be more useful to offer another incentive.
Something needs to be done
The fact is that many NHS services in the UK are under pressure and something needs to be done to protect it. It is becoming increasingly common for people to say that they are unable to see a GP and A&E departments across the UK are complaining that they simply can’t cope with the pressure.
Perhaps asking people to pay £10 to see their GP would deter the time-wasters (no need to go to the doctor if you have a cold), whilst at the same time help increase funding for the NHS and recruit more trained staff.