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Time to really give GPs the right funding

The Telegraph showed how the taxpayer is being ripped off recently in its article ‘NHS pays £20,000 a week for a doctor’.

But it is reassuring to the ‘squeezed middle’ to know that, in a health service run by the criminally insane, there are losers as well as winners.

The weekend the article appeared, in addition to catching up on the paperwork and so on, I had been looking after a patient who was terminally ill.

There was no remuneration for this, other than the privilege of being of service to an extraordinary, lovely lady and her lovely family – not a penny.

This is just part of the story. For working at Greenwood Surgery six-plus days a week (far more than the 56-hour ceiling) for an entire year, I get paid £9,469.

This works out at about £2.50 an hour – which is less than half the minimum wage.

As your readers will appreciate, the NHS gets away with it as I am not an ‘employee’. GPs running practices are considered independent contractors, so we get no protection from employment legislation. We can work until we drop, and many do.

This situation – the ludicrous overpayment of some clinicians and underpayment of others – brings disgrace on the NHS.

GPs are not magicians – we can only provide the level of service for which we are funded. The sooner the NHS is reformed and we get rid of the waste-of-space people currently running it, the better it will be for all concerned.

From Dr John Cormack, South Woodham Ferrers, Essex