Recent figures show that GPs earnings average around £106,000 in the initial one year following their contract. Statistics from the Information Centre for health and social care depict an increase in the average earnings by 30%, during the period, 2004-05.
Ministers and NHS Bigwigs are mighty unhappy that huge amounts have been disbursed as salary, instead of pumping them for improving the quality of healthcare services. However, The British Medical Association was quick to add that doctors deserved the increase in compensation.
The new contract, which introduced major changes to primary care services, was empowered to enable additional flow of money to general practitioners, so that they could plough it back to improve services for patients. This comprised of incentives that would give GP's the extra benefit for improving the quality of patient care.
A hefty percentage of GPs' earnings are now connected to the quality of care they offer to their patients. Dr Hamish Meldrum, of the British Medical Association said, "We invested extra funding in GP services in good faith both to improve services and reward GPs. The money was not intended just to boost GPs' profits. We expect a higher level of these profits to be invested back into their businesses, to bring about further improvements in services for patients, such as longer opening hours or widening the range of services. We want to see this year and next a higher proportion of practice income going on service improvement for patients, and greater efficiency rather than windfall profits."