A healthcare free-for-all?
The government plans to introduce free GP care, but evidence shows that doing so will see a big rise in demand, writes Dr Tom Black.
Access to the health service in Northern Ireland is free. It is free to attend your GP as often as you want. There are no prescription charges or A&E charges.
There is, of course, considerable cost to the taxpayer and the cost of the health service (NHS) in Northern Ireland is about £4 billion, or more than £2,000 per patient, per year.
GPs in the North provide 11 million consultations, 38 million prescriptions...
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