Family doctors should start charging patients for GP services, a group of doctors have said.
Making certain patients pay a fee for some services would "emphasise the value" of GPs, the British Medical Association's (BMA) local medical committees conference was told.
Dr Helena McKeown, a GP from Wiltshire, told delegates that many general practices are struggling to recruit family doctors and charges would help to "build up a workforce".
And GPs creating their own source of funding would mean they could operate outside of political control, the conference heard.
Presenting a motion calling for the BMA's general practitioners committee to "explore national charging for general practice services with the UK governments", she said that years of under-funding for general practice has caused "immense damage".
She said that practices are failing to recruit new GPs which forces them to reduce the services that they offer.
"The time has come to lead our profession in putting a true price on general practice," she said.
"Currently the Government both commissions and controls completely the funding of general practice."