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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Only a cap on salaried GPs will save profession

We need to be reminded that GPs in partnerships have not created this problem ('GP leaders plan overhaul of "unsustainable" general practice').

A few years ago there was a recruitment crisis in the profession.

Low morale was threatening to trigger a wave of retirements. Younger doctors were lured by the easy availability of jobs in sunny climates and found it easy to postpone commitment to an uncertain future. In fact, for those of us left with the responsibility of looking after patients, it appeared that no one was going to help and we would be left stranded.

In response to the assertion of younger doctors that full-time working was out of date and no longer desired, the Government seized an opportunity to split the profession. There is now an uneasy alliance between money-orientated GPs with little interest in personal care and a Government that wants to cut GP salaries by about 50%. So-called 'entrepreneurial' GPs are doing the Government's dirty work of driving salaries down.

The crisis could be resolved by a simple formula restricting employment of salaried GPs. There are practices where one GP employs several salaried doctors. There are extreme examples of small partnerships of four GPs employing dozens of salaried GPs to service enormous list sizes.

This is completely against the spirit of general practice in this country. I would encourage the RCGP and BMA to push for a formula that limits salaried doctors to no more than one for every two full-time partners. This would solve the problem at a stroke.

From Dr Yealand Kalfayan, GP partner, Bristol

GP pay

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