Charging for GPs and A&Es will deter patients from visiting the doctor, writes Rebecca McQuillan in The Herald.
“How many would be deterred from visiting the doctor if they had to pay? We all know what impact a late diagnosis can have on cancer survival chances. Health inequalities, already scandalously wide, would only worsen.
These adverse human consequences are hardly the stuff of fantasy: they happen all over the world in systems where access to healthcare is mediated by credit cards.
Dr Ellen Welch, co-chair of the Doctors Association, wrote in Metro this week about her experience as a cruise ship doctor, where British passengers had to pay for consultations.
“I recall the elderly lady who shuffled to the nurse’s station on board the ship looking fairly well. She asked about the consultation fees and then decided against a visit,” she writes. “Twenty-four hours later the whole medical team was summoned over the Tannoy to her cabin, to find her in extremis from a condition that could have been prevented had we only seen her earlier.”
Read the full article here.