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Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Another harebrained scheme for charging NHS patients, this time from the RCN !

Nurses debate £10 fee to visit GP

Patients would pay to see their GP

This is an appalling proposition. Only recently, 31st March this year, a Labour peer, a former Labour minister in fact made a similar proposal, but  suggested a tax of £10 to be collected monthly in conjunction with the Council tax. At the time, I wrote,

"Imposing a monthly levy for everyone to use the NHS. A proposal from a former Labour Minister, who now sits in the house of Lords. This dinosaur from the House of dinosaurs should feel ashamed of his Guardian article, but clearly will feel no remorse as he reaches for his pen to complete another House of Lords.expenses claim .
Warner, a appointee of Blair, (now there's a surprise) now works with the right wing think tank "Reform" and has co-authored a report that says "dramatic action is needed".
It makes no mention, at least none reported, of what effect that would have on the sick or disabled, pensioners, unemployed or other members of our society who would in all probability, be unable to afford yet another extortion of money from already stretched budgets, with the inevitability of annual increases to the £10 fee.
If payment of the fee is to be means tested, then the cost for the administration of the system would no doubt, far outweigh any contribution it may make to NHS funds.
All in all, no more than another harebrained scheme, probably found at the bottom of a tumbler of single malt and emanating from people who should be tending their rose gardens".

I described the proposition from Lord Warner as a "harebrained scheme". Now it seems that with only minor variation, Andy McGovern of the RCN, will "propose a motion calling for fixed fee to see a GP."
A harebrained scheme is a harebrained scheme no matter what weasel words are employed to dress up the suggestion. There must be too many exceptions to the charge to make it anything other than another measure to generate income, but which costs more to administer than the benefit it was designed to bring about.