GP charge system is ‘open to abuse’
The ‘pay-per-visit’ method is also putting extra strain on the Accident and Emergency department of the General Hospital and worsening health inequalities as poorer people chose not to see a doctor because of the cost.
Dr Iona Heath, the president of the Royal College of General Practitioners who was in Jersey to address States officials on the future of primary health care, said that the current system was not ideal.
She said: ‘We absolutely know that payment for attendance worsens health inequalities so that poor people have to think before they see their GP, and they do have worse health problems to begin with.
‘It also encourages people to go to the Hospital where it’s free – and hospital care is a high cost to the community – so it’s no wonder your A&E attendances are high.’