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NHS GP's enjoy record pay for less hours whilst neglected patients suffer

Politics / NHS Jan 07, 2007 - 02:53 PM GMT

By: Nadeem_Walayat

Politics

A near tripling in GP salaries since New Labour came to office has led to less time spent in practice by GP's, as they seek to enjoy their windfall payout's on the golf green rather than spend time in surgeries. This means less time committed to patient consultations and thus quality of GP diagnoses is expected to decline significantly.


A sign of this over payment of NHS GP's and neglect of patients is highlighted by many GP's opting out of working extra hours to cover for out of hours and holiday shifts. This has meant the NHS flying in doctors from European Countries to cover for absent GP's. In one example an Italian doctor was flown from Italy to Inverness and paid £3,200 to provide GP cover for five days over Christmas. Dr Annibale Bertollo is just one of thousands of foreign doctors who are being paid large sums to fly to the UK to provide cover for absent GP's. Whereas in the past, GP's were expected to cover this work, now no longer deem it appropriate to do so given the surge in their salaries. The average GP salary is now in excess of £100,000 with some GP's earning as much as £250,000.

Most of the surgeries in Britain have foreign doctors filling in due to British GP's no longer having an incentive to work those hours that were for decades accepted as part of the job of being a General Practitioner.

The reasons for this and other waste are financial mismanagement and incompetence in construction of GP contracts, that has allowed GP's to cut work hours whilst accompanied by a rise in salaries. The country is increasingly experiencing part-time GP's on full time salaries, with little in terms of effective management of the NHS.

It is estimated of the extra £60 billions a year spent on the NHS, less than £20 billions is effectively spent on patient care. This means that to all intents and purposes an estimated £40 billion pounds a year is wasted .Already the cost of the NHS to the average family in health care terms, is much more than the cost of an comparable private medical health insurance scheme.

Patents should be given the power to decide to which GP they will seek a consultation with and the wider NHS should be privatised. Two comparable countries, Germany and France don't have state owned health systems, both of which on many accounts offer superior health care to the NHS. As with all monopolies there is little incentive to offer value for money hence the £40 billions a year of waste.

Privitisation of the NHS would lead to greater patient choice and accountability, as no private hospital would want to be associated with unnecessary patient deaths, unlike the soaring death toll due to avoidable hospital infections such as the MRSA super bug. The UK's MRSA rate is compared against other european countries :

Denmark 1%
Netherlands 1%
Austria 11%
Germany 19%
Spain 23%
France 33%
Portugal 38%
Italy 38%
Greece 44%
UK 44%
( According to European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Systems data for 2002). Since 2002 the number of MRSA deaths has doubled in the UK, nearly reaching epidemic proportions. This is the symptom of the lack consideration afforded to the clients of the NHS, the patients, when the MRSA problem is near totally avoidable given proper hygiene.

Similar, NHS GP's have no real incentive for effective diagnoses and treatment of patients, hence growth in illnesses such as diabetes which hundreds of thousands not being effectively diagnosed until the later stages of the disease, leading to more costly treatments. The sooner the patient is recognised as coming first, the better it will be for Britain, and the only way that can happen is for Britain to make the move to a market orientated healthcare system, rather than the inefficient state run monopoly that exists today.


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Comments

Didi
19 Jul 07, 20:44
NHS GP's are Worthless

My GP is worthless.

I have wasted three years where my symptons have been repeatedly ignored. Whenever I visit, I am given the impression that I am wasting their time.

Now after having done some research, I am going to pay to see a private GP and finally get competent healthcare

In my experience, GP's are being paid far too much money for delivering worthless healthcare.


Susie
25 Jul 07, 14:16
GP's Over Paid - Too right!

I work for a GP and he works in consultions for 3 hours a day, the rest of this time is spent looking on the internet or just not being there at all.

On a Thursday he works for 1 hour.

He has no practice manager, no nurse and two part time staff. He refuses to pay us more than £7 an hour although we are doing the work he is paid for.

GP's should be sccountable but in this case he just takes the money and runs.

He actually works a 15 hour week for the huge salary.

Now you know why the NHS is in a state.


chris
18 Mar 09, 04:49
gp pay

Most of your figures are wildly exaggerated.

I am a GP and I invite you to go and train as a GP if you really believe it's so good-medical schools are taking mature students they are so desperate to fill the posts.

All it takes is a lot of work and commitment.

The truth is that the job is tougher than most people can handle and the pay is adequate.

You clearly have a chip on your shoulder about GPs perhaps you tried and failed in a medical career?


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