'Total discrimination': Private GP reveals how Govt bureaucracy hinders Covid testing

15 July 2021, 10:52

By Tim Dodd

This outraged private GP reveals to LBC that government enforced bureaucracy means "putting a swab down someone's throat" is costing clinics thousands of pounds.

These "totally discriminatory" measures are making it almost impossible for private clinics to operate.

Dr Laurence Gerlis from Same Day Doctor, a chain of private GP clinics, said: "Private clinics have been accused of profiteering over this... but the government decided that swabbing for PCR testing had to be regulated by another body called UKAS, and it's cost us in the region of £30,000 so far because we haven't been finally approved.

"We applied 7 months ago, and the process is still ongoing and we still haven't been fully approved. We're allowed to continue to do it because the legislation doesn't kick in till August 31st, and it's made our lives absolute hell."

Dr Gerlis then called the rules "totally discriminatory", claiming one of his doctors who also works in the NHS can do swabbing there, but not in their private clinic.

Nick then replied: "Thousands of mums and dads test their kids before school, but they're allowed to put swabs in their kids' mouths, but you have to spend thousands of pounds to do it?"

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"The company selling them doesn't have to be registered with UKAS," Dr Gerlis said.

"It's only I, as a doctor, putting this swab into someone's throat - which is something I've trained to do and done for years for other conditions.

"I'm now being forced to spend this money to register with UKAS and jump through bureaucratic hoops, the likes of which I've never experienced before."

Dr Gerlis then said 'Grenfell tower' was quoted in his conversations with UKAS over the importance of him registering to swab, which he found 'hugely insulting.'

"It's more about power than money," Dr Gerlis said.

"They love being able to regulate and interfere with what's going on in our lives. I don't expect anyone to have sympathy for private doctors, we never get any, but really this is horrific."

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