Letter: Block on GP visits

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The Independent Culture
Block on GP visits

Sir: The government proposal to force the sick to go through a centralised filtering system before being allowed to get an appointment to see their doctor smacks of Big Brother, and is an insult to our right to self-determination and confidentiality (report, 27 February).

There is already deterrence enough when one has to wait days for an appointment. For those who already stay shy from consulting even when they know they are quite sick, men in particular, or the depressed or suicidal, the further hurdle of having to explain to an unknown voice on the phone the minutiae of their problems would probably be the final straw.

Imagine having to talk about some intimate and embarrassing problems, such as prostrate, colon, bowel or sexual dysfunction, or the fact that you are 14 and you think you are pregnant. Or, "I feel like killing my child". "Yes, dear, how many times a day? Oh, only three? Sorry, you can only see your GP if it is a minimum of four."

MRS D BERAL

Winchester, Hampshire

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