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I'd resign over out-of-hours demands

Having worked on call from home for 17 years then in an out-of-hours co-op for nine, I cannot agree with Dr Krishna Korlipara that such arrangements are viable.

Having worked on call from home for 17 years then in an out-of-hours co-op for nine, I cannot agree with Dr Krishna Korlipara that such arrangements are viable.

When he first set up co-ops, it was the best of a bad deal at the time. Doing on-call from home became unworkable because the Government refused to curb unreasonable demand. When most GPs agreed, universal GP co-ops were set up. They too became unworkable and the job was a waste of time and effort for very poor reward and, worse, poor job satisfaction.

GP numbers were falling, and the Government could no longer get away it. Hence the new contract to boost recruitment – but ministers still resent paying us, so they have brought in a target culture, much of it irrelevant. The NHS is now in a terrible state, with the Government constantly demoralising the staff. Frankly, I can't wait to get out.

My recollections will be of sleep deprivation and overwork. Dr Kailash Chand's letter is far nearer the mark: 'To expect GPs to bail out the Government is unfair. No GP will return to being paid £6,000 a year to provide an out-of-hours service.'

I certainly wouldn't. I'd resign first.

From Dr Paul J Searle, St Neots, Cambridgeshire

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