This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

pul jul aug2020 cover 80x101px
Read the latest issue online

Independents' Day

Highs and lows: The 1990 contract

Dr George Rae, chair of the BMA's north-east regional council and a GP in Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear, remembers the turmoil that followed the new GP contract in 1990.

Dr George Rae, chair of the BMA's north-east regional council and a GP in Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear, remembers the turmoil that followed the new GP contract in 1990.

The political turmoil in 1990 caused by Kenneth Clarke's decision to impose a new contract was a low point for the profession.

We at the GMSC rejected the contract, but he decided to push forward with it anyway, and I first heard about it on the radio.

It caused huge antagonism between the medical profession and the Department of Health.

Then there was the internal market and the purchaser/provider split. It led to a BMA campaign with posters of Kenneth Clarke saying 'What do you call a politician who won't listen to medical advice?'

The relationship only began to improve with the introduction of out-of-hours cooperatives in the mid-nineties.

1990 was a real nadir for the profession.

Dr George Rae

Rate this article 

Click to rate

  • 1 star out of 5
  • 2 stars out of 5
  • 3 stars out of 5
  • 4 stars out of 5
  • 5 stars out of 5

0 out of 5 stars

Have your say