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ITV poll finds majority in support of charging people who miss doctor appointments

Health and Mental Health

ITV poll finds majority in support of charging people who miss doctor appointments

Today on the 75th anniversary of the NHS, Good Morning Britain revealed the results of an exclusive poll which found that 62% believe that missed doctor’s appointments should be charged for.

Other headlines from the poll show that over 70% think that people should be able to see their GP the same day they’d like to be seen and 58% said that newly qualified doctors should have to work in the NHS for ten years.

Joining today’s show were Dr Hilary Jones, former Health Minister Edwina Currie and Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting who all shared their responses to the poll, as well as their own suggestions for NHS reform.

Sharing his support for people being charged for missed NHS doctor’s appointments, Dr Hilary said, “It’s a good idea. It optimises the fact that people don’t respect what they’re getting from the NHS, they’re taking it for granted.

“You wouldn’t dream of missing your solicitor’s appointment because you know you’d get charged, you wouldn’t dream of not going to your dentist appointment because you know you’d get charged, they won’t even bother to tell the doctor they’re not going.”

Edwina Currie responded, “The more bureaucracy and the more you attach a price to things, you’re going to deter people. And you’re particularly going to deter some older people. People don’t want to bother the doctor.”

Other conclusions made by the poll show that 54% believe that newly qualified doctors should be made to repay in full the cost of their training if they leave before 10 years. However, there was a huge division between age groups as 18 to 24-year-olds were almost evenly split while the majority of those aged over 65 were in favour of mandatory repayment (72%).

Dr Hilary went on to say, “I’ve worked with… over the years of my TV career, over a dozen health ministers and they all seem to be focussed on short-termism and the reforms they’ve made often haven’t worked.

“We’ve got to look after our staff for retention and recruitment.”

Edwina also shared her views of the BMA (The British Medical Association),“The BMA has been one of the most difficult organisations for any healthy minister to deal with.”

Wes Streeting also reacted to the poll results, “I don’t like disagreeing with the majority of people but I don’t think it [charging people for missed appointments] would solve the fundamental problems or meet the scale of the challenge, and I fear it would cost more money than it would raise.”

Good Morning Britain weekdays from 6am on ITV1 & ITVX

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