A principal will cost a practice nearly £8,000 a year less than a salaried GP once extra non-clinical work is allowed for, according to accountants.
Specialist medical accountants Ramsay Brown and Partners say it would cost a practice £101,440 to pay a salaried GP to work the average number of clinical sessions a partner works, close to the average £106,072 income for a partner.
This is because although salaried GPs earn an average £55,790, data show they work 5.3 clinical sessions compared with 7.6 for partners, who carry out up to a session of additional work on administration. Practices also must also pay national insurance and superannuation on top of their salaries.
Laurence Slavin, a partner at the specialist medical accountancy firm, calculates that partners perform their 7.6 clinical sessions for £93,738, less than the cost of a salaried GP for the same hours.
‘This shows salaried GPs are not as hard done by as some people think,' he said.
Meanwhile, the pay gap between principals and salaried GPs in Wales is now less than £6,500, says GPC Wales.
A small pay rise for salaried GPs and an income drop for principals would mean it is more attractive to appoint a partner than a salaried GP, says GPC Wales chairman Dr David Bailey.
Once the cost of GPs' professional development is included, practices may realise that ‘the actual cost of employing a salaried doctor is higher'.
‘Practices must look at the bottom line, not the top line,' Dr Bailey said.