Successive governments have chronically underfunded primary care which deals with approximately 90% of all NHS patient encounters on less than 10% of the total NHS budget.
GP practices in England received an average of £155 per patient this financial year, official data has shown. That’s £155 to cover an unlimited number of medical consultations and provide the necessary infrastructure involved in running a practice (buildings, employment of medical and non-medical staff, regulatory governance, insurance, etc.)
The average cost of providing pet insurance for a Boxer dog is £445 per year, with most insurance policies excluding pre-existing conditions and limiting the number of consultations allowed each year.
GP surgeries are not funded based on their activity unlike hospitals who receive a fee every time a patient uses them. They really are an “all-you-can-eat-buffet” of healthcare and have been expected to survive on relatively smaller and smaller amounts of funding despite the exponential increase in workload over the past decade.
While GP Surgeries remain efficient organisations offering astounding value to the taxpayer, chronic underfunding has taken its toll and highlighted the urgent need for adequate NHS funding and for more funding to shift from secondary care to primary care.