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At the heart of general practice since 1960

The dilemma facing GPs over contract ballot

Ballot papers will start arriving this week for the crunch vote on the new contract.

Younger GPs may see the new contract as an inspiring opportunity to get rewarded for improving patient care. For older GPs, the disappointing outcome on pensions could be the final straw, confirming plans for their retirement.

Many GPs will struggle with a dilemma. The substantial pay rise on offer must be weighed against the fact that to see any noticeable fall in their workload, GPs may have to sacrifice a chunk of their earnings ­ by compromising on the number of quality points they aim for or abandoning any plans to bid for lucrative enhanced services.

There is also a real danger the contract could add to paperwork and many GPs are rightly nervous at the prospect of their PCO gaining greater managerial control.

GPs will have to think long and hard before casting their vote.

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