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At the heart of general practice since 1960

GPs' fury grows over continuing criticism from ministers and the media over their earnings

Dump work back on PCTs!

From Dr Phil Brookes

Newcastle-upon-Tyne

So GPs have been overpaid, according to Mrs Hewittless? No problem – let's all stop all QOF work as of now, take a huge cut in income, and hand chronic disease management back to PCTs. Let's see how she feels then. I would happily see 10 sick patients twice a day and play a lot more golf!

• From Dr Martin Seely

Worsley, Manchester

Even the Government is now forecasting that there will be a deficit of 1,200 GPs by 2010. I expect that this will be much worse following Patricia Hewitt's pronouncement that the Department of Health is looking to cap the amount of income GPs will be able to take from their practices.

Having faced the last 12 months of constant carping by various ministers about how much GPs earn, I am glad I have now retired and I can see many who are in my age bracket following suit.

I know of no other profession that has ever been threatened by such a cap to their income. GPs agreed with this Government the terms

of their contract. The extra money has been earned, with GPs performing much better in the QOF than the Government expected.

From the patients' point

of view, they are getting the highest quality of care that any patients in the Western world receive. But I presume that from the latest utterings this Government does not think GPs are worth the income they gained in doing this.

GPs could not have achieved these quality points if they had not invested in their practices by paying for more practice nurse hours and more administration staff hours.

They also achieved this by working long hours such as those I worked from 6am to past 7pm. At least I now have some of the evenings and weekends to enjoy my family.

The Government moans about how much out-of-hours now costs but when it was negotiating our contract it valued our out-of-hours work at £6,000 a year. Now they are surprised that private locums are not willing to work these hours for such a pittance.

GPs would love to have the average £145,000 expenses and the generous pension scheme that MPs voted for themselves!

• From David Clough, chair, Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants

Dr Nick Bunting is rightly angry with the anonymous accountant who was quoted

in a recent article in The Independent about GP earnings (Letters, 18 January).

As Aisma chair, I would like to state that the comments made are not the view of the association and are inaccurate and unhelpful to both GPs and the association itself.

Our members work hard to deliver a highly professional accountancy service to GPs, enabling them to run efficient, profitable practices. Aisma does not make public specific information about individual practices.

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