Beware the“GP At Hand” App: Stealth NHS Privatisation
“See an NHS GP within minutes for free” boasts the Conservative Government’s new mobile phone app “GP At Hand”. You can download the app and connect with a GP on call without having to wait for an appointment or travel to the surgery. But wait a minute is that really a great idea? If you sign up you automatically become de-registered from your own GP and the government stops paying your local GP practice the amount it’s due for having you on its books. You won’t be able to see your doctor anymore. The money will dry up for your local surgery making waiting times even longer, the likelihood of being prescribed any drugs less and less until the very feasibility of your local GP practice’s existence comes into question; and this of course is exactly what the government’s app is really trying to help bring about. The new conservative health secretary Matt Hancock is following in the footsteps of his predecessors Andrew Landsley and Jeremy Hunt to strangle the NHS of funds and to try to beguile us into being its executioner by tricking us into getting this app.
If you look at the new app’s website www.gpathand.nhs.uk, the promises are tempting and the idea that you might see a doctor just by picking up your phone is certainly attractive. But when you stop and think, how effective would this be if you were really ill, or if your child had a case of possible meningitis? Would the friendly doctor on the front of your phone be able to take your temperature, put a stethoscope on your chest, check your blood pressure, examine your body for tell tale signs of a life threatening condition? Of course not. And would you still be able to communicate effectively with a doctor in a video phone conference? Many doctors now do not have English as their first language and face to face one can easily get over communication barriers but not so much by phone.
Dr Kailash Chand on the website Pulse Today says “The crisis in general practice is unprecedented. Mr Hancock’s ‘solution’ to roll out GP at Hand across the country, could finish it off for good.”
Just how many people you know may be fooled into signing up for “GP at Hand”