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The waiting game

GP pay averaged £110,000

A 9.8 per cent pay increase in 2005/6 took UK GPs' combined NHS and private earnings to an average of £110,000 for that year, figures from the Information Centre show.

The figures are for the third year of the GP contract, the final year before the Department of Health imposed a two-year freeze on global sums and QOF pay.

The BMA claimed the figures were out of date and ignored spiralling staff and premises costs being shouldered by the profession.

GPC chair, Dr Laurence Buckman said partners were ‘being penalised for rising to the challenge of performance-related-pay for delivering the quality care the Government asked for.'

He warned: ‘There is a limit to the efficiencies you can make and the inflation effects you can absorb on a zero pay award: 0% for GPs in 2007/08 could actually equate to a 6% cut in income in real terms.'

Average GP earnings in England for 2005/6 were £113,600 – a rise of 9.7%.

GPs in Wales averaged £102,200 (up 11.6%), £98,700 (up 8.2%) in Northern Ireland and £90,600 (up 9.6%) in Scotland.

The report showed a wide distribution of net profits among contracted GPs. At the lowest end of the scale, 5.9 per cent of GPs had net profits less than £50,000. This compares to 9.0 per cent with net profits at this level during 2004/05.

But the percentage of GPs with net profits more than £200,000 increased from 1.9 per cent in 2004/05 to 3.3 per cent in 2005/06, the analysis of tax returns showed.

The results also highlight the growing disparity between principals and salaried GPs earnings. Salaried GPs - defined as those whose tax return showed more employed than self-employed income - earned £46,900 on average.


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