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Scrapping of MPIG 'not a done deal' says GPC

By Gareth Iacobucci

Negotiations over the scrapping of the MPIG are far from a done deal, even though ministers have drawn up detailed financial modelling for a five year phase-out, the GPC is warning.

GP negotiators say the Government's theoretical modelling – revealed by Pulse last week and based on five successive annual pay increases of 2% - is ‘not helpful' given the commitment by both parties to discuss different models for 2010 onwards.

The Department of Health claimed last week it could buy out the correction factors of the 27% of practices that would still be on the MPIG in five years' time for as little as £36m.

But the GPC said the distance from target solution, with surgeries receiving at least an inflationary uplift each year but some getting more than others, was still a viable option for phasing out the MPIG over a longer period.

It also claimed the formula used to calculate global sum payments could be altered to safeguard against a ‘disinvestment' in some practices.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, GPC negotiator, described the Government's theoretical figures as ‘an irrelevance'.

‘The projection of 2% for five years sends a wrong message in suggesting that they have decided. It's not helpful and inappropriate.'

He said the GPC's modelling was likely to challenge the presumption MPIG practices were over-funded, and that the current funding formula ‘could change'.

‘Many practices are not receiving large correction factors through historic chance, but to provide very specific services such as councillors or physiotherapists. If we redistribute crudely, we run the danger of disinvesting in quality practices.'

GPC leaders have previously indicated the Government's financial restraints could make the distance from target solution most realistic.

GPC negotiator Dr Peter Holden told Pulse: ‘You're talking 15-20 years unless you put in a huge amount of money.'

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