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BMA tells Review Body to wait for contract

The BMA has confirmed that GP remuneration for next year will effectively be set by the contract negotiators and not the Review Body.

In its submission to the Doctors and Dentists Review Body released last week, the association said joint evidence from the GPC and the Government would be put to the Review Body next year if the new contract is accepted.

'Negotiations are ongoing on a new contract for GPs, whose pricing will be the subject of agreement between the parties outside the DDRB mechanism,' it said.

'The Department of Health and the association believe it would be more useful if joint evidence were submitted on the new, priced contract.'

It will be the first time in many years GPs' pay increase has not been overseen by an independent review body.

The BMA said it would submit independent evidence on GP pay only if the contract negotiations fail or the deal is rejected next year.

Its submission added that if no agreement was reached on achieving parity between GPs' and hospital consultants' pensions, the BMA would call for the Review Body 'to correct for the shortfall...through pay'.

The BMA also renewed its call for locum payments made to GPs who are also principals to be pensionable.

Most of the detailed BMA evidence on GP pay concerned GP registrars.

The submission asked for a further increase in GP registrar out-of-hours supplements to give them parity with their

junior hospital doctor counterparts.

GP registrars now get a 50 per cent supplement after the Review Body recommended a rise last year, but this compares with 80 or 100 per cent for

junior hospital doctors.

Only one-third of the BMA's cohort of 1995 medical graduates have indicated general practice as a career choice, but 55 per cent is required to maintain GP numbers.

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