The body which represents GPs in Jersey has said that surgeries have measures in place to be able to cope with any possible increase in appointment demand due to the £20 reduction in GP fees.
Yesterday, the Social Security Minister announced that an agreement had been reached with GPs to reduce the cost of face-to-face appointments, with the Government doubling its subsidy.
The new cost reduction scheme will see practices paid an additional £5 per consultation to support them with the increased costs of running their businesses.
Dr Gordon Callander of the Primary Care Body said that this cost-cutting measure might cause a "slight increase" in demand for GP appointments, but noted that is a "positive thing" as it means that people are not putting off seeing their GP for problems that may be time-sensitive.
Pictured: Deputy Millar also said yesterday that she hopes that free GP visits for children could also be in place as soon as July.
He explained that "nobody knows for certain" how the reduction in GP costs might impact waiting times for appointments, however Dr Callander said that any impact would likely be most noticeable at first and then calm down.
Dr Callander reassured patients that all GP surgeries have their own measures to "accommodate people at short notice – for example, in case of emergencies".
Pictured: The Primary Care Body reassured islanders that surgeries have measures in place to be able to cope with any possible increase in appointment demand.
The reduction will only apply to visits in normal surgery hours – home or out-of-hours visits, telephone consultations, and consultations with other health professionals, such as nurses or health care assistants, will continue to be supported by other Health Insurance Fund agreements and not by this new scheme.
Members of the Health Access Scheme already pay a reduced fee of £12 for a GP and so the £20 reduction will not be applied.
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