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Non-principals want best of both worlds

Non-principals seem to want to be in the private sector regarding setting their own fees but want the benefits of the NHS in terms of the superannuation scheme. I spent many years as a locum and found it hard to ask for money. I therefore welcomed the guidance fees.

I am now a prinicipal and am aware it involves an awful lot more than just the surgeries. Despite being so-called self-employed, our income is dictated by the Government. If non-principals wish to work outside of these restrictions then they should do so wholly, including the NHS pension.

They are either in the NHS ­ and allowed to benefit but then subject to earning limits as NHS GPs are ­ or they are private, set their own limits and finance their own pensions and so on.

Also the implications of not addressing this could be devastating. If non-principals are going to be earning more than principals with many of the benefits then many doctors ­ myself included ­ will be only too happy to drop the responsibility, particularly as the benefits of family doctoring seem to be eroded by the Government.

Dr Jane Wight

Meols, Liverpool

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