The Doctors practice on Fishermead are penalising disabled residents with a £80 charge for medical evidence to support disability benefit appeals. This is hitting some of the poorest households in Milton Keynes in one of the poorest areas of the new city.
Fishermead Medical Centre charges its patients over £80 according to information published by Citizens Advice Milton Keynes, who have published research on local charges.
Fishermead Medical Centre charge more than the British Medical Association (BMA) guideline figure of £40 for supplying medical evidence to support applications for disability benefit.
Shammi Akter, community campaigner and local community councillor, is calling for the surgery to fall in line with BMA rates.
She said, ” Fishermead is among the poorest communities in Milton Keynes, but those applying for help are being charged the most. This is clearly wrong. I hope that the GP medical practice will think again”
She has also written to the chair of the Milton Keynes Health and Well-Being Board asking them to consider setting a standard, linked to the BMA recommended charging level.
She concluded, “The Health and Well-Being Board sets out health strategy for Milton Keynes. It has, I believe, a responsibility to tackle health inequalities. Charging £80 is adding to the problem and I consider the Board should set a recommended standard charge in line with the BMA guidance.”
Pictured above Cllr Shammi Aktar outside the Fishermead GP Medical Centre
For more information on charging in Milton Keynes:
Citizens Advice Milton Keynes: More details on the report, called Dissecting Medical Evidence, is available from firstname.lastname@example.org. Doctors are able to set their own fees for this work because it is not part of the National Health Service