£162m being wasted on ghost patients

It has been stated by ministers that the NHS is paying GPs for about 2.5 million people who do not even exist.

Every year about £162million is being received by doctor, which is being paid by taxpayers. These are those people who left the country, changed their house or have died about 40 years back.

According to the Audit Commission, annual payments are being earned by about 95, 000 such non-existent people and they have been counted in a single year as they were registered with these doctors. But this number was much more and the Department of Health stated that on doctors' list in England alone there are about 2.5 million such people.

For every patient GPs have on their list, the NHS pays £65 every year to these GP surgeries. Aspects like whether these people make a visit to these doctors or not, what treatment are they taking etc are not even considered.

With the GPs there are about 55million patients registered and the living population out of this is about 52.5 million in England.

This simply points to about £162.5million being wasted on non-existent patients by the NHS on a yearly basis.

Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said, "It was `outrageous' that money was being wasted to treat patients `that only exist within NHS bureaucracy."