I’ve just read a Times Online article by Jamie Whyte entitled Of course demand for GPs is too high — a visit costs zero. Whyte proposes charging a £10 appointment fee to deter people with ‘sniffles’ and assumes that most people will be able to pay. Aside from the fact that this goes against the very nature of the National Health Service, it clearly shows that he only knows at least reasonably affluent people. A tenner might not seem a lot to him, but some people just can’t afford to pay that for someone’s opinion. I quickly scoured the comments to see if anyone else was astounded by the suggestion and came across a comment from Julie King:
I think this is a great idea. It would put the really poor off going to the doctors at all, then more of them might just die and stop bringing the rest of us down with their stupid poverty.
I really hope that’s sarcasm.