Saturday, 11 April 2015

Look how little it costs for you to get general practice in the UK.

If you were to ask the average patient in the UK how much their healthcare cost them the answer would probably be “Nothing” for as far as they are concerned it is completely free at the point of abuse.

The total NHS budget is c. £ 100 billion and only 8.4% of this is spent on primary care and general practice deals with c. 90% of medical consults in the UK. The GP magazine called Pulse has done some calculations which you can read here.

If you want to see how much the NHS pays to your own individual practice then there is a link here.

Please be aware before you start jumping up and down and saying my GP gets X million pounds a year that a GP’s income will be this figure MINUS

what it costs to run the practice in terms of staff wages (c. 70% of expenses), heat, light, telephones, repairs etc. etc. which results in something called profit

which when tax, national insurance etc. is deducted from this profit will be divided between partners to give your GP their own individual income and this is decreasing year on year. The figures in the article per patient are considerably less in many parts of the UK almost half in some cases.

So the average figure is £ 136 a year or £ 2.62 a week or 37p a day. Now the average patient consults 6 times a year which means that the cost of the average consultation is about £ 22.67 but remember dear reader this is the cost to the Party the cost to the patient is exactly £ 0 everytime, however many times they consult and the amount paid to a GP for each consultation will be even less (see above).

Now some might think I never ever see my GP, in the same way that no one ever has a home visit, so they are getting paid for nothing as far as I am concerned but we are sure no GP practice in the land has any patients who will consult 3 times a week every week of the year so it is a case of swings and roundabouts here comrades but if you never see a GP never fear for the service is still there free at the point of abuse should you ever need it.

The article does make a distinction between the different types of practice. The lowest cost per patient is for those practices that have a (n)GMS (new GeneralMedical Services) contract which on average receive £ 131.45 a patient.

The Party also has practices with PMS (Personal Medical Service) contracts where the practice can negociate with the local health authority or equivalent a set of specific services and receive more gelt for doing so at £ 140.52 a patient.

The third type of contract is the APMS (Alternative Provider Medical Services) contract often referred to as ones with the private sector which are more generously funded at £ 192.85 per patient which is the result of a political bung to encourage private interest in general practice and a reflection of the fact they tend to have fewer patients.

Most general practice is provided by self employed contracters so in fact most, if not all, general practice in the UK is provided by private enterprises. However the difference in funding in some areas leads to resentment between practices who may be treating patients who live in the same area but receive different amounts of payment per patient for doing so.

You will be pleased to know that the Party is working to correct this imbalance which may result in winners and losers and a possible lack of interest from the private sector that might result in workload “gains” to certain practices in areas so affected. APMS contracters will be able to take the money and leave the work while remaining GPs with other contracts will be dumped upon with extra work and expected to cope with the same workload for less money than the APMS contractors received before they left.

The article goes on to give examples of what £ 136 a year won’t buy you and here are a few others:

A colour TV licence which costs £ 145.50 a year.

A single NHS outpatient appointment with a consultant (allegedly) under the NHS Soviet tariff payment system (2014-5) unless it is for a colorectal surgery first attendance multidisciplinary attendance comrades at £ 118, an upper gastrointestinal surgery at £ 134, trauma and orthopaedics at £ 124, ENT or paediatric ENT at £ 136, ophthalmology at £ 106, plastic surgery at £ 124, anaesthetics at £ 125, paediatric dermatology at £ 133 or gynaecology at £ 131 a punt.

3 weeks of average expenditure on food by a person (patient) in the UK £ 160.20. 

12 weeks of average expenditure for alcoholic drinks, tobacco and narcotics. 

The cost of gym membership c. £ 300 a year as told to us by our medical students.

An initial single private medical consultation at £ 200 with follow ups at £ 125 a time. 

The cost of an hour of a solicitor with four years post qualification experience time in 2010 (GPs have a minimum of 5 years post qualification experience now).

Praise be to the Party for valuing each patient in the UK so generously for the bulk of their health care and then slagging off GPs for not being able to meet demand for the cost of less than a TV licence per patient. Anyone slagged the BBC off for providing television for more than the cost of a GP per year?