GPC defends UK GP pay after international comparison

GP leaders have said GP pay is 'absolutely justified', after reports said UK GPs are paid substantially more than many of their worldwide counterparts.

The Guardian reported that Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) statistics showed UK GPs are paid more than any other OECD country, which includes USA, Australia and Denmark, and almost double that of France.

The 2007 figures of 21 OECD countries show UK GPs are paid four times the average UK salary while French GPs are paid two and half times their national salary average.  

But GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said GP pay is justified. He said comparing GP pay in UK with European counterparts is like ‘comparing apples and pears'.

He said: ‘The biggest question is what GPs in other countries actually do. GPs in the UK do a whole lot more than elsewhere in Europe.

‘In Europe, many patients go directly to specialists and GPs don’t provide such a comprehensive range of services.’

Dr Vautrey highlighted the value of UK GPs shown by the fact that the NHS costs ‘proportionately less’ than many other European countries.

‘The reason for this is because UK GPs provide greater gatekeeper services, which protect patients from expensive secondary care,’ he said.

Dr Vautrey added that the statistics are out of date, as they do not take in to account successive pay freezes over recent years.

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