Letters: Which version of general practice will survive?

I was interested by the juxtaposition of two articles in last week's GP.

The first on Dr Simon Fradd's assertion that 88 per cent of GPs were superfluous to requirements and the second reporting Dr Laurence Buckman's comments that the lack of partnership opportunities for young GPs was the biggest threat to general practice.

Dr Buckman should be regretting supping with Dr Fradd and his like-minded negotiators when, as members of the GPC negotiating team, they scrapped the old basic practice allowance, despite warnings of the consequences.

Turkeys do not vote for Christmas and sadly GPs will not appoint new partners if the salaried alternative is cheaper.

Dr Fradd and his ilk see the new GMS contract as an opportunity to build empires with salaried employees, whereas Dr Buckman appears to have seen the light and wants to promote the appointment of independent profit-sharing GPs, a model of general practice that has served both GPs and patients well.

Dr Buckman should start thinking about new financial incentives for GPs to take on partners, otherwise the 12 per cent of us who survive Dr Fradd's cull will end up working for him in a polyclinic.

Dr Michael Golton, Rotherfield, East Sussex.

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