Cut GP pay by 10% says think tank

NHS doctor and manager pay should be reduced by 10% and charges made for GP visits, according to a think tank.

Report ‘Back To Black’ by Reform said: ‘The weight of evidence suggests that it is higher paid members of staff – i.e. registrars, consultants, GPs and managers – who have seen pay increases that are least in line with productivity gains.

‘The total pay bill of these groups is £13bn. A 10% reduction in these salaries would therefore save £1.3bn. It would aid future reform by establishing the idea that pay should follow productivity.’

The report added that Britain is virtually unique in having no charge to visit a GP. ‘As the cost of visits fall to the taxpayer, patients have an incentive to visit the doctor for even minor ailments or miss appointments, creating opportunity costs that affect everyone. User charges should be introduced and there should be greater reliance upon other health professionals (such as nursing staff and pharmacists) for treating less serious ailments’.

Reform estimated charges would generate £1.35bn (revenue from charges) and save £0.29bn from reduced demand.

neil.durham@haymarket.com

  • Should GP income be cut 10% and charges introduced for appointments?

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