Only Army has more stress than GPs
Medical accountants are warning practices of a potential new year cash-flow crisis.
Practices may be required to secure new overdrafts or extend existing facilities because of a combination of tax payments and the end of some PCT income streams, accountants advised.
The cash-flow crisis could hit between January and April 2005 because practices must make balancing tax payments in January for the 2003/4 tax year, which saw GP pay rise more than expected.
Richard Vickery, an accountant at PKF in Guildford, said PCT incentive money, such as from smoking cessation schemes or special clinics, had also 'dried up' and quality achievement pay would not come until after April 2005.
GPs who wanted to avoid reducing their drawings would have to consider extending their overdraft, he added.
'It's possible quite a lot of GPs will need one,' he said. 'No one has volunteered to reduce their drawings.'
Arthur Dixon, senior manager, private clients, at accountants Deloitte & Touche, said GPs who increased drawings in line with rises in income were most at risk.
Newcastle LMC chair Dr Relton Cummings said GPs should not have to cut their drawings but should 'reach agreement with their bank to ease the peaks and troughs'.