GP crisis: Licence fee to cost more than the Government pays for general practice

The Doctors’ Association UK’s (DAUK) GP lead has called for the Government to show it cares about general practice by investing in primary care after years of cuts to its funding.

Dr Lizzie Toberty said that, following this week’s rise, people will be paying more for their TV licence fee than the Government pays for general practice.

She added that music festival tickets, phone contracts and even pet insurance all cost more than the per-patient funding the Government puts into primary care.

Dr Toberty said: “The per-patient funding for primary care currently stands at £164 annually, regardless of visit frequency.

“The TV licence fee has just gone up to £169.50, which means that the Government is happy for people to pay more for their TV licence than it is willing to put into GP healthcare.

“Festival tickets, phone contracts and pet insurance all cost more than GP services.

“We’re experiencing a funding and staffing crisis in primary care and that lack of investment over the past decade and a half is the main reason that people struggle to get a GP appointment, and that really matters to people.

“We rightfully have high expectations of what our GPs should be able to do for us and everyone is up in arms when they’re not able to get an appointment,  and yet the Government doesn’t value it and pay for it in a meaningful and significant way.

“If it had kept up with inflation, GP funding should be closer to £197 per patient, which would make a massive difference to the service we provide.

“We have a huge shortage of GPs in the UK and it would really help to address that.

“It’s time for the Government to show it cares about primary care and to invest in it properly to ensure the best service for patients.”