LONDON, May 20 (UPI) -- In a move being described as "customer friendly," British doctors said they will no longer require patients to go to their offices to make an appointment.
The "8 a.m. rush," described British patients having to go to their physician's office in person in the morning to stand in line to set up an appointment to be seen later that day, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Andrew Lansley, heath secretary, said doctors' offices would also be obliged to let patients receive test results and access their medical records via their computer, smart phone or iPad.
Some doctors' offices already give patients the opportunity to book appointments online, but those who do not offer such services by 2015 will be "named and shamed" on a government Web site, Lansley said.
"By allowing people to access the NHS online we will put an end to the 8 a.m. rush to phone your general practitioner to try and book an appointment," Lansely told the Telegraph.
An official at the Department for Health acknowledged many people in Britain do not have access to a computer, and some will still have to make appointments in person.
Two years ago, a survey of NHS patients found that 51 percent found it difficult to get through to their primary care physician on the telephone.