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At the heart of general practice since 1960

New contract is about keeping control of GPs

My heartfelt thanks to Dr Choudri, Dr Lamb and Dr Roberts for their well-reasoned criticism of the dangerous proposed new contract for GPs (Letters, November 11). Government bureaucrats foisted it onto a blinkered BMA, who then sold it to some naïve GPs.

As Dr Choudri pointed out, the Government could easily change the goalposts after token consultations. Or it could push up targets year after year. Target activities have little to do with quality and everything to do with the politicisation of medicine and control of doctors.

The beauty of the Red Book is that it is a fixed-price contract. If you look after a certain number of patients and hit certain targets you cannot be denied payment.

There are now many medical activities outside GMS that attract pay, such as teaching, research, locum sessions, assistantships, private work, out-of-hours shifts and so on. Many GPs prefer doing GMS part time, reducing paperwork and maintaining their interest in medicine.

With an acute shortage of GPs we have never been in a stronger position to reject the Government's humiliating straitjacket schemes and to rely on our own initiative and expertise to practise good medicine and regain pride in our profession.

Dr Sheila Coates

London

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