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CAMHS won't see you now

Remember 'forgotten' salaried GPs as well

From Dr Jim SherifiSudbury, Suffolk

National news reports on the 30 per cent increase in GP pay for 2004/5 over the preceding year, resulting in average GP income going up to £107,000 per annum (£128,000 for dispensing GPs), were based on income tax returns on partnership profits.

As such they did not include the income of the large and rapidly increasing percentage of GPs working in salaried posts, whose income, starting from a lower base, increased by between 2 and 4 per cent, in line with inflation, during that same period.

In defending the increase, the BMA chose not to inform the public that a considerable number of family doctors were earning far less, thus illustrating once more how salaried GPs have become 'the forgotten' of primary care.

A significant proportion of the increase in income of principals has come about through the increasing use of lower-paid salaried doctors, allowing the practice income cake to be cut up between fewer partners.

In order to maintain their incomes at this heady level the trend towards appointing salaried replacements is likely to accelerate. The evidence? Look at the jobs section in any journal.

In our unseemly rush towards immediate gains we are simultaneously running towards the Government's agenda of a 100 per cent salaried service. The BMA needs to recognise its responsibilities to the profession as a whole and represent all doctors.

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