GP challenges Jeremy Hunt to work for nothing

An Essex GP who says his practice is so underfunded that he cannot draw a salary has urged Jeremy Hunt to try working for free, after the health secretary hit out at excessive NHS pay.

Dr John Cormack: open letter to health secretary
Dr John Cormack: open letter to health secretary

Dr John Cormack believes his 4,000-patient practice, the Greenwood Surgery in South Woodham Ferrers, Essex, is the ‘the worst funded practice in the entire NHS’.

In an open letter to the health secretary, Dr Cormack challenged him and other coalition ministers to 'lead from the front' in the fight against excess by working for nothing.

Dr Cormack wrote: ‘I see that you are cracking down on NHS excess because you feel the health service needs to be wary of developing a "culture of excessive pay and payoffs". I gather you'd like to do something about the "unacceptable and unjustified" salaries earned by many NHS managers.

‘As a single-handed GP who doesn't earn a penny for looking after the patients registered at his large and busy practice, I'm all in favour of the NHS fat cats getting a dose of their own medicine.

‘As for your bright ideas ... you really should lead from the front. I'd like to challenge you and, indeed, all of the government health ministers to work for the same financial package I get. I work for nothing because of overtly discriminatory arrangements made by the PCTs while Mr Blair was in charge - but you're in the driving seat now and nothing's changed for the better.

‘I'd also like to extend the same invitation to Simon Stevens when he becomes chief executive of NHS England next April - I know he intends to relinquish 10% of his salary but, let's face it, that's just a drop in the ocean.

'My suggestion is that all those making the rules should put their hands deep into their own pockets rather than ours. Let's stamp out all forms of discrimination in the NHS and apply the same rules to you and your colleagues as the health service makes for me and my patients.’

A DH spokeswoman declined to comment.

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