Letters, calls and emails: I wish new contract had been around in my day

Dear Editor

I was somewhat bemused and bewildered by Dr Hari Nawal’s well-expressed gripes about the recent developments in the running of general practice under the new GMS contract — mainly about the adverse effects on the GP’s own health and family life, as he sees them (GP, 13 April).

Most GPs I know seem to be profoundly pleased with the 8am–6pm (in reality 9am–5pm) duties on weekdays only, while being paid twice as much as before, with considerably enhanced pensions to look forward to.

As far as quality targets, Choose and Book, practice-based commissioning and so forth are concerned, the practices have one or two members of the ancillary staff well trained in all that, have happily extricated themselves from that drudgery, and seem to be enjoying spending more prime time with their families, friends and hobbies.

I myself am rueful that all this did not come about in 2002 when, approaching the grand old age of 70, I retired as a GP principal after serving over 35 in the same inner-city practice.

I am, however, pleased to see the compulsory retirement age of 70 being made illegal, and am content to pick and choose locum work and out-of-hours work, in addition to being an appraiser.

Dr Raj Setiya

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