Views & Reviews Starting Out

Pay as you don’t go

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 12 June 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1380
  1. Kinesh Patel, junior doctor, London
  1. kinesh_patel{at}

“Free at the point of entry”: laudable words, words that we hear time and time again from politicians expounding the “world class” care offered by the NHS. Aside from any debate, though, about whether this is sustainable in the long term, should this actually extend to “free if you don’t enter”?

Working through a clinic, one cannot help but be struck by the number of patients that don’t keep their appointments without even a telephone call. And why should they? There’s always a receptionist at the patient-friendly …

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