GP pay falls for third year running

GP's average income has fallen for a third consecutive year, NHS information centre data shows.

The average UK GP partner earned £105,300 before tax in 2008/09, a fall of around 0.7% on the previous year. The fall has been caused by a 5.1% rise in expenses.

However, the average income for salaried GPs in the UK rose to £57,300 in 2008/09, an increase of 2.7% on the previous year.

GP partner pay has fallen by around 4% since 2005/6, when it peaked at £110,000.

For PMS partners, average income in 2008/09 was £116,300 compared to £99,200 for those on GMS contracts.

GPs in England earn the most in the UK, with an average income of £109,600.

GPs in Northern Ireland and Wales continue to earn much less, with average incomes in 2008/09 of £89,700 and £90,700 respectively.

The NHS information centre reported 'large variation' in the income of partners, with around 7% earning less than £50,000 and just under 1% earning over £250,000.

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman called for the government to 'recognise' the financial pressure GPs faced.

'News of another annual drop in GP earnings figures, accompanied by a further rise in practice expenses, will come as no surprise to hard working doctors when their pay has been actively frozen for three years. GPs are increasingly working in a challenging economic climate and facing financial pressure in a number of areas,' he said.

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