The National Health Action Party totally rejects calls by GPs for patient charges.
The British Medical Association's annual local medical committee conference later are today debating charging for appointments. Under the plan, patients could be charged a flat fee of up to £25.
The co-leader of the NHA Party, Dr Clive Peedell, who is a member of the BMA council, says charging actually increases costs and harms patients – and attacked GPs who backed 'zombie policies’:
“The National Health Action Party is totally opposed to patient charges. There is a wealth of data that shows that the introduction of patient charges worsens care, and increases costs as patients present with later stages of disease. It is a regressive idea that transfer costs of healthcare on to the poorest. section of society.
“Health policy academics have labelled patient charging as a ‘zombie policy’, because it is a dead idea that vested interests keep trying to bring back to life.
“GPs should be calling for increased investment into General Practice, not further burdening of the poorest and most vulnerable in society.”
“The GPs who said they would support patient charging should be ashamed of themselves for their lack of professionalism and their lack of knowledge of clear evidence that patients charges are bad for patient care. They should not be supporting zombie policies”.
"Charging for the NHS goes against the founding principles of the NHS, that it should be free at the point of use."