By JONATHAN FINE
As a GP you now earn £55 when you diagnose dementia, £107 when you find cancer and £9.70 when you see an ingrowing toe nail. Well, actually only the first one is true, but what’s stopping the other two from happening?
The dementia scheme offended a lot of people but they missed the point: less than half of the UK’s 800,000 dementia cases have been diagnosed and David Cameron wants it to be two thirds by 2015. The £55 is expedient, practical and, because of the media headlines, marks a tipping point in the way we see GPs.
The financial incentive is how most of the commercial world works, directly or indirectly. The question is, would you feel better attending your GP’s surgery knowing that he or she is actively looking for things wrong – even if they are making a few quid out of you? Think of the impact on preventative illnesses if a bounty was put on all early diagnoses.
GP services are getting worse (two thirds of doctors, nurses and practice managers believe standards of basic GP services have fallen in the past 18 months), so if you were given the choice of attending a GP who gets paid a flat salary whatever his diagnostic performance level or one paid on diagnosis performance, which would you pick?
UK dentists lead the medical world in balancing commercial imperatives with ethics, and the sooner these bright dentists start transferring what they’ve learned over to private GP practices, the better for everybody, including the NHS GP practices. What are we waiting for?
If you’re interested in exploring this opportunity, please call me on 07860 672727.