SURMOUNTING COST OF MISSED APPOINTMENTS
IT is a sad reflection of some people’s attitude towards our NHS when I read (Bucks Advertiser August 4) that more than 500 people failed to turn up for five or more appointments at Buckinghamshire hospitals last year.
It seems that some people have a cavalier attitude to our NHS because they think it is free. I propose that people who fail to turn up (or fail to give adequate notice), should be charged a nominal fee of £50 appointment. This, by no means, covers the true cost but it would act as an incentive for people to have a more responsible attitude to one of our greatest national institutions.
I understand that, on average, up to 20% of people fail to attend hospital appointments which costs our NHS an enormous amount of wasted money. This is probably why a number of patients are told to arrive at hospital at certain times and then have to wait hours in some cases to be actually seen. This is so hospitals can cater for failed appointments without having medical staff sitting around unproductively. If people adopted a more responsible attitude to keeping appointments, hospitals could arrange better controlled appointment times, which would be to the advantage of all concerned.
I have heard it said that, to truly fund our NHS, tax would have to increase to 60% or 70%. Taxpayers would not be prepared to pay to that extent so we must develop a more responsible attitude to the way in which we could save money.
Perhaps that could also include people travelling to UK specifically to get medical treatment having to pay. Our hard-hit NHS could do with the additional funds this would produce in order to preserve it for those who live and work in Britain.