'YES' - Dr Paul Charlson says there is no reason why GPs should not earn what bankers earn.
Financial reward is a key driver for GPs. Of course looking after our patients well is paramount but making money does motivate a majority of us.
Quality and scope of primary care are variable. Yet it is not always those who provide the best care who earn the most money.
QOF started the process of rewarding quality care but it has not gone far enough. Increased income as a result of providing better care should be the central plank of a new GP contract.
More than average patient face-to-face time, especially at unsocial hours, providing phlebotomy, ECGs, minor surgery and so on should be realistically remunerated. Some practices do not provide these because frankly it is not financially worth it. This has to change.
Similarly it is not good enough to say GPs should not be responsible for managing healthcare budgets. It is not a sustainable situation and it is far better that we decide which patients get priority. Of course you have to guard against penalising those who need care but if dealt with in a mature fashion with good governance it can be done. Again those who are prepared to put in the effort should be rewarded.
I see a world where practices which provide top-notch care with good access to appointments and a wide range of services together with a well managed budget could earn far more than those that do not. Not just slightly more, but much more.
Entrepreneurial GPs will of course be looking to develop new services which will improve quality of care in a community setting for less cost and taking a share of the significant financial benefits achieved. Patients, taxpayers and GPs will benefit. A win-win situation.
Rewarding those providing excellence at least partially to the detriment of those who do not is both reasonable and sustainable.
There is no reason why GPs should not earn more than bankers but they have to deliver and work hard for it. The opportunities are there now and a few adjustments will set the system free.Brough, East Yorkshire GP Dr Charlson is Conservative Medical Society chairman and an RCGP commissioning champion
Media reports have suggested a handful of entrepreneurial GPs now earn up to £750,000 a year. Two GPs give their reactions.
Have you registered with us yet?
Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins