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We must consider public when negotiating GP pay

I can reassure Dr Sharmila Kar (Letters, December 2) in the strongest possible terms that, like every member of the GPC negotiating team, I value GPs and the work they do.

I believe that our patients too appreciate the efforts we make on their behalf. We don't, however, negotiate in a vacuum and we must keep public opinion on our side, which is why we take this into consideration when deciding how to present our case.

Family doctor services have been under-resourced for many years and disadvantaged in comparison with investment in hospital services.

We certainly don't consider a large pay rise as 'money-grabbing' but reflecting the tremendous worth of GPs and their contribution to the NHS.

Dr Hamish Meldrum

Joint Deputy Chair of the BMA's General Practitioner Committee

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