No GP should ever be out of pocket due to indemnity costs, says RCGP

Submitted by Sarah Fletcher on Tue, 16/05/2017 - 11:58

Publication date: 16 May 2017

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the RCGP, calls for the new Government to support GPs with rising indemnity costs.

She said: "Every GP has the right to provide care to their patients, safe in the knowledge that they are protected by their insurance.  Indemnity cover is already a significant financial burden on GPs so this potential hike in costs will come as a serious blow and cause great anxiety.

“No individual GP should have to shoulder the spiralling cost of higher indemnity bills, nor should GP practices be forced to divert money into plugging this shortfall when it should be ploughed directly into frontline patient care.

“Unlike hospital doctors, GPs have to pay the entire cost of purchasing medical indemnity out of their own pockets, and without urgent action this situation has the potential to become a crisis, with devastating effects for the profession and, ultimately, our patients.

“The College has been raising this issue with politicians and medical defence organisations for some time – indeed, finding a long-term solution to the rising costs of indemnity is one of the six ‘asks’ in our College manifesto for the next Government.

“The Government has already given a clear and firm commitment that no doctor will be worse off a result of the new discount rate and we call on all political parties to pledge to honour this promise at the earliest possible opportunity, so that GPs are not faced with the prospect of having to pay massively higher bills.

“We need urgent reform of a system that is becoming increasingly unsustainable and is getting in the way of GPs doing their jobs.”