We must stand and fight while Brown is so weak

The GPC convinced itself of a false choice - option A or B.

The real choice is option A or none of us comes into work on 1 April when our existing contracts run out.

Instead we should all open as private GPs for £50 per consultation. Our premises leases do not specify whether we are NHS or private and, even if they do, a Labour government is going to find it difficult to organise a lock-out if it stops patients being treated.

The government would have six weeks to organise emergency funding for those patients who cannot afford £50.

However, I think we can assume that it would return to the negotiating table sharpish.

Brown's government is weak and unpopular. This is the year to stand up to it, before the supersurgeries are built, before the Italian doctors have passed the PLAB. Next year is election year and it is much more likely to want a fight 'for extra availability to patients' in the March before a May election.

It is astonishing how successful the campaign of denigration against us has been in how short a time. Patients like their own GP, but they do not like GPs as a class. Another year and we will be less popular than the government.

The time to act is now, not 2009. When are the next GPC elections?

Dr Jonathan Munday, Victoria, London.

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