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Gold, incentives and meh

GPs aghast at Government plans for home visits by paramedics

I read much about the problems of pay and conditions of associate specialist doctors, but not much about the pay of clinical assistants. Having nearly 40 years' experience, and as a director of a university health service and an FRCP, I was until six months ago a part-time clinical assistant in genitourinary medicine paid at the princely sum of £69 per three-and-a-half-hour session.

One morning before my afternoon clinic, the chimney sweep charged £20 to clean the chimney which look 20 minutes. He was followed by two window cleaners who charged £16 for 12 minutes' work.

By the time I had done a round trip to and from the hospital of 45 miles (no mileage allowance) over a 90-minute period, I reckoned I was paid £16 per hour after tax.

I put this to the managers who were not the slightest bit interested, so I resigned.

I received not a word of thanks for my contribution and no support from the consultant. I thought managers were there to help doctors to deal with the problems of patients.

How naive can one be. And how thin charity begins to wear eventually.

Dr James Burton



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