No Fee for A&E

The Metro and Mirror are hysterically reporting a survey of GPs who allegedly want fees to attend A&E – though only if you’re deemed to be a “time waster”.

800 GPs bothered to respond to the online survey.
There are nearly 260,000 GPs in the UK

This is neither news nor journalism. There is probably no agenda beyond making a fuss, but it adds to the drip, drip of stories that NHS is rotten and expensive and the only way to fix if is outsourcing with user charges.

The NHS was the most efficient in the world, with high approval ratings, universal coverage, mostly no fees at the point of need, and better outcomes than many other health services. Then the Tories didn’t win the election in 2010, and along came cuts, exposure to competition, and the reorganisation Cameron promised not to do; it’s still pretty good, but we hear just about every bit of bad news that can be found in any large organisation. (“Excess deaths” is made to sound dramatic, but it’s a statistical measure – no excess death is necessarily a preventable death).