The GP's View: General practitioners need funding for key treatments

GPs are no longer paid to perform what had been considered normal medical services
Dr Martin Scurr

WHEN it comes to medical care, the government seems to know the price of everything but the value of nothing. Recently, a neighbour told me that when his hearing aids didn't seem to be working, his GP was not prepared to clear the hard ear wax found to be causing the problem.

It has been a year since I wrote about this change in policy, whereby GPs can no longer offer many services because someone in head office has said the NHS won't fund it.

Such services used to be carried out on the basis of goodwill, but rising workloads and a money shortage have put a stop to this. The British Medical Association says more than 80 services are no longer reimbursed.

The Covid-19 vaccines are a case in point. GPs receive £12.58 per dose. This is not enough to cover the cost of being open 12 hours a day, seven days a week, which is needed to ensure rapid uptake.

General practice is not a dumping ground that can take on any work not seen as the province of the hospital service. Aspects of medical care that are not reimbursed no longer seem to be valued, either – unless, perhaps, you are the man who needs to have his ears syringed.

© Solo dmg media

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