Policies such as polyclinics, APMS contracts, and changes to dispensing rules mean that every practice in England will face either pressure on their income, or be forced to close altogether.
These changes are happening against a background of cuts to correction factors and rising costs. As a result, incomes at Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish practices will be under further pressure from an already lower base.
Dr Laurence Buckman, GPC chairman, said that GPs were facing more threats than any time since the 1960s, when practices were so cash strapped and understaffed that GPs resigned en masse in undated letters. ‘But what happened in the 1960s was accidental,' he said. ‘This appears to be more of an organised threat.'
Nick Goodwin, senior fellow at the King's Fund, said that Gordon Brown's government criticism of GPs could be paving the way for ‘something new and shiny that they say is better for you. The days of setting up a practice and having a job for life are over,' he said.
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