Guernsey

Guernsey health: Half put off GP visit by price

GP writing a prescription Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption The review recommended the limit of 42 GPs in the island should be removed

Half of people responding to a survey have been put off going to the doctor in Guernsey because of the price.

The figures have been revealed as part of the Channel Islands Competition and Regulatory Authorities (CICRA) review of primary care.

The survey of 1,000 people, found 88% of those questioned viewed local GP services as good or very good.

The average cost of q GP visit in Guernsey is £54, depending on insurance contributions.

The review also recommends the limit of 42 GPs in the island should be removed.

Deputy Paul Luxon, Minister for the Health and Social Security Department, said he would bring a proposal to remove the limit later this year.

'Higher costs'

But General Practitioners spokesman, Dr Brian Parkin, said removing the limit would be unlikely to reduce the price of consultations.

He said: "There is considerable evidence from elsewhere in the world, that increased numbers of doctors can actually lead to higher total costs for the community.

"Whilst CICRA feels that it is important the cap on GP numbers is removed, it is important to note the NHS feels it is very important to limit the number of GPs practising in an area."

Minister for Commerce & Employment, Deputy Kevin Stewart, whose department commissioned the review, says greater financial transparency is needed by practices to ensure patients are getting value for money.

He said: "It seems clear to me that some GPs are making significant levels of profit from charges passed on to patients.

"It also seems clear that greater financial transparency is needed to ensure that patients are getting value for money."

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