WHY DO GP’S SOMETIME CHARGE FEES?
The National Health Service provides most healthcare to most people free of charge, but there are exceptions: prescriptioncharges have existed since 1951 and there are a number of other services forwhich fees are charged. Sometimes the charge is made to cover some of the cost of treatment,for example, dental fees; in other cases, it is because the service is notcovered by the NHS, for example, providing copies of health records orproducing medical reports for insurance companies.
It is important to understand that many GPs are not employed by the NHS;they are self-employed and they have to cover their costs - staff, buildings,heating, lighting, etc - in the same way as any small business. The NHS coversthese costs for NHS work, but for non-NHS work, the fees charged by GPscontribute towards their costs.
The Government’s contract with GPs covers medical services to NHSpatients, including the provision of ongoing medical treatment. In recentyears, however, more and more organisations have been involvingdoctors in a whole range of non-medical work. Sometimes the only reason thatGPs are asked is because they are in a position of trust in the community, orbecause an insurance company or employer wants to ensure that informationprovided to them is true and accurate.
Examples of non-NHS servicesfor which GPs can charge their own NHS patients are:
- Accident/sickness insurance certificates
- Some Travel Vaccination
- Private medical insurance reports
Examples of non-NHS servicesfor which GPs can charge other institutions are:
- Medical report for an insurance company
- Report for the DSS/Benefits Agency
- Examination of local authority employee
BMA suggest fees for non-NHS work which is not covered under GP’s NHScontract, to help GPs set their own professional fees. However, the fees are guidelinesonly, not recommendations, and a doctor is not obliged to charge the ratessuggested. The BMA recommends that GPs tell patients in advance if they will becharged, and how much. It is up the individual doctor to decide how much tocharge. Surgeries should have lists of fees available for patients.
- Not all documents need a signature by a doctor, for example passport applications. You can ask another person in a position of trust to sign such documents free of charge.
- For Passport and naturalization applications a GP has to have known the patient or in the case of child the parents for a certain period of time. The GP has the right to refuse if he/she has not known the patient for the defined period of time or if he/she feels they would not be able to recognize the child from the photograph.
- Do not expect your GP to process forms overnight: urgent requests may mean that a doctor has to make special arrangement to process the form quickly, and this will cost more. Please be aware that some reports may take more time, as the doctor might have to check the patient’s entire medical records. Carelessness or an inaccurate report can have serious consequences for the doctor with the General Medical Council (GMC) or even the police.
The Barkantine practice : Non NHS Fees
Certificates / Forms / Letters
BUPA / Travel / Insurance Form (short)
Passport and Naturalisation form
Insurance Form (Long)
Insurance Form (short)
Fitness to fly/ drive
Holiday Cancellation Certificate
Letter request from Airline regarding medication etc…
Short letter for Bank/Building Society, Housing Council/Association etc…
Health Club – Fit to exercise
Private Sick Certificate BMA
Medical Record Request under the Data Protection Act 1998
Only Computerised print out
Computerised and manual records mixed
Per page photo coping charge
Adoption Health Report
Child Minder Health Report
Pre-employment Medical Exam & Report
Comprehensive Examination and Report
Medical Exam & Report for HGV/LGV/PSV/Taxi
Medical Exam & Report for Elderly Drivers
Long Medical Report without Exam
Last updated: 10.3.2016