Anorak News | GPs Profit From Patient Calls: Noodle For Cheap Calls

GPs Profit From Patient Calls: Noodle For Cheap Calls

by | 25th, July 2007

FIRST it was Richard and Judy, then Blue Peter and now we find that even the most trusted member of society, the family doctor, has been making money out of our phone calls.

According to the Mail, doctors are being accused of switching local surgeries to more expensive 0844 phone numbers in an attempt to boost their profits. The switch means that millions of patients face paying at least 40 per cent more to book an appointment with their GP.

It is claimed that around 1,200 surgeries have switched their phone system, with a calls from a landline to a 0844 number costing 4.2p per minute, 1.2p more than the usual charges for a standard prefix number. It would, however, be worth your while to see how much it would cost using Noodle.

Vanessa Bourne, of the Patients Association, is concerned that UK patients can’t use these new numbers while abroad. Says she: “I think it’s really dangerous. There will be people facing language difficulties and they can’t get help from their GP when they desperately need it. It is extraordinary that these practices are able to make these contracts when they penalise the sick and vulnerable.”

Ofcom is also reported to be rather miffed at the switch, claiming that it is “not appropriate” for public bodies to use 0844 numbers.

Why not use a mobile number instead, and contacted our GP on the golf course?

Posted: 25th, July 2007 | In: Money Comments (4) | TrackBack | Permalink