NHS could employ 4,000 more doctors if it charged.....

  oresome 13:27 22 Oct 2013

those that aren't entitled to free health care.

I applaud the sentiment but doubt the reality of the savings actually materialising.

The army of administrators needed will gobble up a large part of the money, even assuming it's actually recovered.

Do retail costs exist for all the medical procedures and drugs administered I wonder.

  fourm member 14:43 22 Oct 2013

You don't say where you're getting that number from. Jeremy Hunt was very clear that he doesn't think you could ever collect all the money that should be paid so, if '4,000 doctors' is based on the estimated total that will never happen.

On the last point, there is pricing for everything in the health service not least because the NHS accepts private patients and already charges some overseas visitors who aren't entitled to free care.

  spuds 15:54 22 Oct 2013

"Do retail costs exist for all the medical procedures and drugs administered..."

They certainly do, and most hospital's if not all have teams of people dealing with just that, especially if any funding or payment is reclaimable.

There was a documentary on television the other month, showing the work of one such department (I think it was a London teaching hospital), and all the troubles and checks they went to, for seeing if the patient was entitled to any free or subsidies for care, especially if that patients was from overseas, and was admitted as a 'sudden emergency' shortly after arriving here in the UK.

The thing that I find rather alarming with the type of headline news about recruiting more, is the actual facts this is based on, or whether its just further spin. Perhaps off topic, but I recall being told, that when GP's had their increased pay rise, this was going to resolve many issues, but I have found no real evidence of this, within the area I live.

  finerty 16:08 22 Oct 2013

hat aapened to that comuter irdea they had that wuld save them lots of money and......the money disappeared.

Would another situation like that take place where the money just disapeared

  oresome 16:24 22 Oct 2013

Sorry, I didn't provide a link to the NHS story.

click here

  john bunyan 18:06 22 Oct 2013

I have worked and travelled to quite a few countries. Both in Europe and the USA (and particularly Switzerland) hospitals seem geared up to charge foreigners for treatment. I well remember , years ago, in the French Alps, an ambulance sledge wanted a credit card before picking up a skier with a broken leg. I do not see why we cannot do the same for those without reciprocal treatment rights.

  oresome 19:11 22 Oct 2013

I don't doubt if we routinely charged, systems would be in place to collect the money and this overhead would be recovered in the cost price to the patient.

Just establishing if someone is liable to pay or not is probably not that simple for starters. I never get asked for proof of entitlement when visiting the doctor.

Lets imagine I have a friend from overseas visit me and is taken ill. I may suggest he visits my GP using my name to get a consultation and a prescription from the chemist.

Is there anything in place to prevent this fraud?

  john bunyan 19:16 22 Oct 2013

"Is there anything in place to prevent this fraud?"

In the absence of ID cards, why not ask for the National Health Number or the National Insurance number?(Or Driving Licence for those who have one)

  spuds 19:30 22 Oct 2013

There are systems in place, and with the events of the Doctor Shipman case there were even more safeguards and security checks added, regarding the issue of prescription drugs, both for humans and animals.

If say you had a friend visit, then your GP practice should have a temporary registration system in place. When I had overseas visitors, it was always suggested that they obtained health and travel insurance cover. Usually this was done from their own country, because it was found to be the easiest way.

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