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Housing Applications (Doctors' Letters)

Volume 897: debated on Monday 4 August 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, if she will advise doctors to stop the practice of charging patients for letters supporting housing applications; and if she will make a statement.

General practitioners in the National Health Service are required by their terms of service to provide without charge to their patients only certain medical certificates and reports which are specified in the National Health Service (General Medical and Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations, for example those required for national Insurance purposes. Doctors are not obliged to issue any other certificates and reports, for example those relating to housing applications and, if they do so, they are entitled to charge fees for the service.