Doctor’s to charge for whiplash diagnosis

Published: 01/08/2012

A number of GP surgeries and walk-in centres have started charging patients to diagnose whiplash injuries in an attempt to discourage fraudulent claims.

The fee of £21 is legal under the Road Traffic Act 1988 which confirms doctors can charge for providing treatment after traffic accidents.

Despite surgeries insisting these charges have been brought in merely as a deterrent, critics are suggesting that not only is it a way to bring in a little extra cash, it is also unfair on genuine accident victims.

Joyce Roberts is the Director of Patient Concern:

“It would be reasonable to charge patients who definitely didn’t have anything wrong but it seems unfair on those who really are injured.

“It would be far better if the doctors just refused to record the whiplash injuries rather than trying to charge.”

In order to make a claim for compensation for neck injuries, road accident victims are required to send a copy of their GP’s diagnosis to their insurers or solicitor.

Whiplash claims are under severe scrutiny at present due to a significant rise in the number of claims despite a decline in road traffic accidents. Insurers are also blaming personal injury claims for the rise in car insurance premiums.

However news last week found that 65% of claimants were initially contacted by an insurance company about making a claim.

Content correct at time of publication

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