Letters

The fresh new contract for general practitioners

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7348.1274 (Published 25 May 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:1274

BMJ should give equal space to opposing views of new contract

  1. James P Bell, principal general practitioner (jamesbell@doctors.org.uk)
  1. Sunderland
  2. Leeds LS17 7BE
  3. Abingdon Surgery, Abingdon OX14 3LB
  4. Downland Practice, Newbury RG20 8UY
  5. Victor Street Surgery, Southampton SO15 5SY
  6. Ty Doctor, Nefyn, Gwynedd LL53 5BL
  7. Mixenden Stones Surgery, Halifax HX2 8RQ

    EDITOR—Lewis and Gillam write as if the new contract for general practitioners has been accepted by general practice.1 This is not the case, and indeed there is a preliminary vote [in June] on whether the framework is acceptable to general practice.

    The framework as stated is by no means complete, pensions have not been adequately addressed, the contract has not been priced, and the government still retains the right to unilateral change in any contract.

    I hope that the BMJ will not threaten its integrity and allow those who are opposed to this contract an equal chance to portray their views as Lewis and Gillam have.

    References

    1. 1.

    One principal buys a new car to celebrate

    1. Simon Fellerman (simon@fellerman.co.uk), principal general practitioner
    1. Sunderland
    2. Leeds LS17 7BE
    3. Abingdon Surgery, Abingdon OX14 3LB
    4. Downland Practice, Newbury RG20 8UY
    5. Victor Street Surgery, Southampton SO15 5SY
    6. Ty Doctor, Nefyn, Gwynedd LL53 5BL
    7. Mixenden Stones Surgery, Halifax HX2 8RQ

      EDITOR—I would like to inform all readers of the BMJ that four days after publication of the editorial by Lewis and Gillam I bought myself a brand new Mercedes car to celebrate our proposed new contract.1 I also bought one each for my wife and son. The car dealer wouldn't tell me the price of any of his stock so I said to him: “Never mind about the price, I'll just take those three over there.”

      Does the GPC (General Practitioners Committee) really think that general practitioners are stupid enough to vote for a completely unpriced contract?

      References

      1. 1.

      New contract has many failings

      1. Prit Buttar (prit.buttar@ntlworld.com), partner
      1. Sunderland
      2. Leeds LS17 7BE
      3. Abingdon Surgery, Abingdon OX14 3LB
      4. Downland Practice, Newbury RG20 8UY
      5. Victor Street Surgery, Southampton SO15 5SY
      6. Ty Doctor, Nefyn, Gwynedd LL53 5BL
      7. Mixenden Stones Surgery, Halifax HX2 8RQ

        EDITOR—Lewis and Gillam's brief summary of the new contract for general practitioner is somewhat misleading.1 Although the proposals allow general practitioners to reduce additional services to reduce their workload, this option is not new: if I choose, I can already stop doing cervical smears or vaccinations, and I can pay others to cover outside normal working hours. Furthermore, most of the pressure on my time comes from what will be defined in the new contract as essential services so the pressure will not change. There is nothing in this contract that will reduce demand. …

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