NCA Highlights the Importance Of GP Price Display & Urges Consumers To Check If Their GP Has Price List

  • Calls on remaining GPs to display prices following Irish Medical Organisation  recommendation


Thursday 1st March: The National Consumer Agency (NCA) has today highlighted the importance of price display at GP surgeries to enable consumers to assess in advance how much they are being charged for routine medical treatments and urged consumers to seek out a price list. In cases where a price list is not displayed, the NCA is  urging consumers to ask their GP why such information is not available and whether their GP intends displaying prices in the future.

This follows from a recommendation by the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) to its members in November last year to introduce price lists for routine medical treatments, such as a normal hours consultation or a home visit, with a commencement date of 1stDecember 2011.This initiative came after engagement between the NCA and the IMO and followed an NCA survey in 2010 which found that 50% of GPs surveyed displayed their prices.

Ann Fitzgerald, Chief Executive of the NCA, remarked, “The IMO’s recommendation is in effect for three months so consumers should now be seeing price lists in GP surgeries throughout the country. We hope that GPs and their regulator, the Medical Council,recognise the benefits that transparency in pricing will bring for consumers and that the Medical Council will include a requirement for price display for practitioners in their formal professional standards and guidelines. I have today written to the Medical Council to seek their agreement on this matter.”

“The NCA is firmly of the view that pricing displays are an important means of empowering consumers. Having access to pricing information enables them to consider all factors such as quality of treatment, the doctor/patient relationship, convenience and also price when they choose a GP. We encourage all GPs, who have not done so already, to display prices prominently in their surgery and on their website if applicable.”

Ms Fitzgerald concluded, “In 2011, following similar engagement with the Irish Dental Council, a Code of Practice was adopted by the Dental Council obliging Dentists to display the prices of their routine treatments. The NCA recognises that the IMO does not regulate GPs and that the recommendation in relation to pricing was made on a voluntary rather than a legislative basis. I therefore want to thank the IMO for working with us on this initiative and those doctors who have begun to display fees as a result.”

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