GPs’ pay soars despite fewer responsibilities

GPs are earning 63% more than three years ago, despite handing over responsibility for out-of-hours patient care, it was revealed today.

Family doctors took home an average £118,000 per year in 2005/6, according to the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants (AISMA).

In 2002/3, the average annual GP income was £72,324 and this had to pay for locums that took on their duties for night shifts, weekends or holidays.

Now local primary care trusts are responsible for providing out-of-hours care – and they are spending even more beating a GP shortage by flying in doctors from Europe.

It emerged at Christmas that one Italian doctor was paid £3,200 plus flights and accommodation for five days’ work in Scotland.

All this is piling pressure on the creaking NHS, which revealed a £547m budget deficit at the end of last year.

Training and development has been slashed as health authorities try to claw back some of the money.

AISMA chairman David Clough told the Independent that GPs salaries soared when they massively exceeded expectations on a quality review in their contracts.

“That was wholly unexpected, so primary care trusts were left struggling,” he said.

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