Letters: GPs are already 'private' and they must remain so

In response to your story 'Government wants 5% of practices to be private-run' (GP, 10 October), I would like to point out that most of us are 'private' already.

We are independent contractors who privately run and own our own businesses. The rot set in when some GPs thought it was just as good to relinquish ownership of their premises to the health authority or committee or whatever it currently calls itself.

We are still mostly 'private' in that we are not salaried employees of the state - or of private companies which contract to the state. It is essential for the well-being of our patients and ourselves that we stay that way - it is the most cost-effective option. It would be interesting to know the cost of premises for GP-owned and state/private company-owned. Ours (purpose built 18 years ago) is less than £10 per patient per year. The private company ones are often double or triple this level. It is scandalous that millions are squandered on private property companies while GPs wishing to extend or relocate their own premises often seem to be treated less favourably.

Dr John Fitton, Northamptonshire.

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