By Ian Quinn
GP net income is steadily falling, with increases in gross earnings being easily outstripped by soaring expenses, official figures reveal today.
The average income before tax of GPs in the UK fell for a third consecutive year in 2008/09 to £105,300, according to a report by The NHS Information Centre.
It shows since 2005/06 average income (before tax) for GPs has been steadily falling from a peak of £110,000.
While average gross earnings for contractor GPs in the UK rose to £258,600 during 2008/09 (an increase of 2.6% on 2007/08), the increase was more than offset by rising average expenses which were £153,300 - 5.1% higher than the previous year.
The reports shows consistent increases in the expenses to earnings ratios for GP partners, with the proportion of gross earnings taken up by expenses standing at 59.3% according to the latest figures, an increase of 1.4 percentage points since 2007/08.
Other top line findings of the report include:
• GMS GPs earnt an average of £99,200 in 2008/09, a decrease of 1.2% since 2007/08.
• PMS GPs earnt an average of £116,300 in 2008/09, the gap between PMS and GMS growing to 17.2% compared to 15/7% in 2007/08
• The average income before tax for salaried GPs in the UK in 2008/09 was £57,300 for those GPs working in either a GMS or PMS practice, an increase of 2.7% since 2007/08.
GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman said: 'News of another annual drop in GP earnings figures, accompanied by a further rise in practice expenses, will come as no surprise to hard working doctors when their pay has been actively frozen for three years.'
'GPs are increasingly working in a challenging economic climate and facing financial pressure in a number of areas, a fact that needs to be recognised by the government.'GP pay Innovative ways to boost your practice income
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