Only one in 50 doctors signed up for free GP care for under-6s scheme, says survey

Only one in 50 doctors signed up for free GP care for under-6s scheme, says survey

Just 2% of GPs have signed up to the free GP care for under-6s scheme, according to a new survey.

The independent poll, commissioned by the National Association of General Practioners (NAGP), was carried out between May 13- 16 and surveyed 1,048 GPs.

It suggests that only 21% of GPs intend to sign up for the scheme before the May 27 deadline, while 23% plan on signing over the next three months.

The figures fall far short of the minimum threshold of 40% set by the Minister for Health.

A significant proportion of the 1,048 GPs surveyed remain unsure. Just under 30% remain unsure about signing before May 27 and 43% are unsure whether they will sign of not sign before September.

Of the unsure group, 52.4% said they are more likely not to sign that to sign.

Of note, 75% said they feel coerced and under duress to sign the contract.

It has also emerged in certain areas around the country, all GPs are planning to actively boycott the scheme, which is due to be rolled out from July.

NAGP chief Chris Goodey said that as well as a lack of information available to doctors, the free GP care scheme also poses a litany of other issues.

"We're consistently seeing mass emigration of GPs and this doesn't do anything to curb that trend," he said.

"We still stand by the fact that it doesn't provide [for] any of the inequities of care, for example you could still have a child who is disabled or has cancer who is seven years old, who's paying for their treatment and paying to see a GP ,and yet you see a perfectly healthy under-6-year-old getting free treatment."

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