The Social Security Minister has promised that talks with GP surgeries to lower the cost of seeing a doctor are "actively under discussion" – but admitted that they are "taking longer than [she] would like".
In response to a request from the Corporate Services Panel for an update on the plans to lower the cost of GP appointment, Deputy Millar said: "It's taking longer than I would like frankly."
The Social Security Minister added: "We do have to negotiate with a number of GPs to negotiate a structure for how this works. What we don't want to do is put something in place that is effectively reversed by the GPs increasing costs in six months time.
"We need to negotiate something with them that makes sure prices will come down and stay down for an agreed period, and also that the doctors are getting some recognition for their operating costs, because they are subject to the same pressures...it is taking some time, but it is actively under discussion, it really is."
In March, Deputy Elaine Miller announced that she was in discussions with the Primary Care Body – who represent the island's GPs – with the aim of lowering the cost of GP appointments.
However, at the beginning of April, GP surgeries including the Island Medical Centre and HealthPlus, increased fees for standard GP appointments, citing the need to keep pace with inflation and the rising cost of living.
Pictured: A standard GP appointment at the Island Medical Centre rose from £54.50 to £64 at the beginning of April 2023.
Following the price increase, the Social Security Minister said that she "understands the frustration" and restated her commitment to helping islanders cope with the increasing cost of seeing a doctor.
At the time, Deputy Millar admitted: "It is unfortunate that an increase has happened just after we announced that discussions were taking place to reduce the cost."
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