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GPs go forth

Defence bodies to raise rates by 10%

Medical defence bodies are increasing their annual subscription rates by around 10 per cent from April 1.

The Medical Defence Union will raise its rate by £355 to £3,990. The Medical Protection Society subscription goes up from £3,310 to £3,640.

Both organisations blamed the increasing number of cases against doctors for the latest big rise. Complaints against MDU members rose by one-third every year between 1990 and 2001.

Each case reaching a full GMC hearing can cost more than £50,000 in solicitors', barristers' and expert witness fees, the MDU has estimated.

MDU chief executive Dr Michael Saunders said: 'We have to charge GPs what it costs to indemnify them.'

The Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland will announce its annual increase in June.

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