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At the heart of general practice since 1960

My life as a ship's doctor is a real rollercoaster ride

Why I support the Pulse Manifesto for General Practice

Dr Patricia Santer is giving her support to the Pulse Manifesto because of the 'relentless demands' placed on her as a GP – and the lack of reward. Dr Santer, a GP in a six-partner practice in Broxburn, West Lothian, has had to plunder her savings to pay this year's tax bill and subsidise her living expenses because problems with cash-flow mean her take-home pay is lower than last year.

'Compared with previous years we are taking home less and seem to be working harder. People like me who are near to retirement are wondering if it's all worth it.'

She feels ground down by IT problems and constant bean counting and misses day-to-day contact with patients. 'We are spending increasing amounts of time stuffing information into the computer, with less time available to actually talk to the patients.'

Although she is close to retirement at 59, she strongly believes the pension age should be kept at 60 for all GPs.

'The way I feel at the moment there is no way I would want to go on until 65 so I would not want to inflict that on anyone else. I still enjoy seeing patients – it's just all the trappings that go with it. I'm knackered by the end of the day.'

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