GPs are charging students for the provision of letters used as evidence in mitigating circumstances and disability support applications.
Students have reported being charged between £10-£20 for letters stating that they are ill or require disability support. Doctors by law are allowed to set their fees for providing paperwork for patients, but some students feel this is unreasonable.
Second year Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology student Laura Ringrose submitted a form from the University’s Disability Support Office to her local GP.
“Without telling me, the GP charged me £16.50 for filling in a short disability form,” she said. “The form was not long and all they needed to do was write down the problem and their job title stating who they were.”
She added, “They only told me about the charge once they had filled in the form, so I had to pay either way. I think it is ridiculous.”
Dr David Rubra, a GP, commented on Pulse Magazine’s online forum, “ It is unreasonable to put this onus on GPs. Nine times out of 10 we have not seen the person during the relevant period and get asked to corroborate their stories of colds, flu, tiredness, and so on.”
He added, “We end up seeing hundreds of students with no medical problems, just needing a letter.”