Government should have capped GP earnings says health secretary

Health secretary Patricia Hewitt has told the BBC that the Government should have ensured a cap was in place on the amount of money GPs can make in the new contract.

Earnings should have been capped
Earnings should have been capped

In the interview with the BBC News website, she said: ‘I think if we anticipated this business of GPs taking a higher share of income in profits we would have wanted to ensure something to try to ensure that the ratio of profits to the total income stayed the same and therefore more money was invested in even better services for patients.’

NHS Employers, the negotiating arm of the DoH requested a 2 per cent pay rise for all NHS workers. However, a DoH spokesman told GP that it is negotiating from the basis of zero per cent for GPs.

The GPC has called for a 4 per cent increase to all elements of the GMS contract in 2007/8 in evidence submitted to the Review Body. The Review Body will make recommendations on GP pay next month, but the DoH has made it clear that they no longer have a role in setting the level of GP pay.

GPC chairman Hamish Meldrum has said: 'Patricia Hewitt should be proud of the achievements of general practice, not denigrating doctors for delivering top quality care which has saved thousands of patients from heart attacks, strokes and other potentially life-threatening illnesses'.

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