The Children's Commissioner has called the amended charges at the Urgent Treatment Centre, in which people will be charged more for not being registered with a GP, 'direct discrimination and a breach of children's rights'.
The government says the charges will apply to those who come to the centre for non-COVID related services that could have been dealt with by a GP in the community.
For telephone or face-to-face appointments at the UTC, islanders registered with a GP will be charged the following:
* Free for children aged 4 and under
* £10 for children aged 5 to 17
* £20 for adults (over 18s)
* £40 for a home visit
Anyone not registered with a GP will have one temporarily assigned to them at the UTC. They will be charged:
* £20 for children aged 4 and under
* £30 for children aged 5 to 17
* £40 for adults (over 18s)
* £60 for a home visit
It means a £10 increase for children aged 4 and under and £20 more for children aged 5-17.
Deborah McMillan says it discriminates against those already struggling financially.
"We know that the main reason that a lot of people don't register is because they know they just can't afford to go, so what's the point in registering.
"We particularly know that affects a certain side of our population. It's not appropriate and I will be picking it up with the (Health) Minister."
Those who don’t register with a GP are those who can’t afford to see a GP. If parents can’t access free treatment for children at the UTC then where can they go? https://t.co/1MuzpWkSrO— Deborah McMillan (@ChildComJersey) May 29, 2020
Ms. McMillan's feelings were echoed on social media by the Children's Minister Senator Sam Mezec.
Exactly right.— Senator Sam Mézec (@SamMezecJsy) May 29, 2020
I can't stress how angry I am at this. https://t.co/dHkyFDkvth
The government is urging islanders not registered with a GP to sign up for one to save the additional charge.
The UTC is open every day between 8am to 10pm. Outside of those hours, the GP out of hours service will continue on 445445 along with the Emergency Department.
Ms. McMillan has this advice for anyone who's not signed up with a GP and affected.
"If you've been to the UTC because you're really concerned about your child and you were charged the extra money because you're not registered with a GP, then get in touch with my office and we will work with you to try and resolve the situation."