Doctors in the dark over high call costs

September 4, 2007 6:00 PM

Cambridge MP, David Howarth, has demanded clear guidance for doctors before they introduce high cost telephone numbers.

The Lib Dem MP has joined the campaign by City Councillors Clare Blair and Jenny Bailey to make sure that patients are not charged up to 35p per minute to call their doctor. Investigations have shown that doctors were often unaware that switching to 0844 numbers could be so expensive for their patients.

Mr Howarth has written to Health Secretary Alan Johnson to ask why doctors do not get the information they need before switching to 0844 telephone numbers. He commented:

"Many doctors are unaware that calling 0844 numbers could prove so expensive. They are not getting the advice that they need before they sign up to these services.

"The Government has previously told doctors that 0844 and 0845 numbers were 'low rate', I would like to know why doctors are still not being told the truth about 0844 numbers."

David Howarth MP in the House of Commons

David Howarth has questioned the Health Secretary over the call costs

Lib Dem City Councillors Clare Blair and Jenny Bailey met with their local surgery on Nuffield Road earlier this year and were very pleased when the surgery agreed to retain its local 01223 number.

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