GP profits in England outstrip rest of UK

GP profits in Scotland are as much as 20 per cent lower than their colleagues in England.

Final figures released by the NHS Information Centre show that GPs earned an average of £110,004 in 2005/6.

But the results also reveal substantial regional variations in earnings. 

The report, based on GP tax returns, found that the average GP in Scotland earned £90,619 in 2005/6 (GMS £90,127, PMS £95,574). This compares with £113,614 in England (GMS £110,054, PMS £121,375), £98,656 in Northern Ireland and £102,194 in Wales.

What's more, the gap is growing. Between 2004/5 and 2005/6, average net profit increased by 9.7 percent in England and 11.6 per cent in Wales, but only 9.6 per cent in Scotland. 

There were also significant regional variations within England, where GPs in the South West earned on average 10 per cent less than their colleagues.

GPs in the region earned an average of £99,001. No other regions' GPs averaged less than £109,500, while those in the East Midlands and East of England topped £120,000. 

The report also showed that rural GPs earn £116,967 compared with only £108,455 for urban GPs.

But its authors suggest that this may reflect the fact that almost 60 per cent of rural practices are staffed by dispensing GPs. This compares with only 6 per cent in urban areas.

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