Research Article

High and low incomes in general practice.

BMJ 1989; 298 doi: (Published 08 April 1989) Cite this as: BMJ 1989;298:932
  1. B. Leese,
  2. N. Bosanquet
  1. Centre for Health Economics, University of York.


    The Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration deals with average incomes and costs, and little evidence is available on local variability. In a study on general practice the distribution of high and low incomes was assessed. High income practices (defined as those with net incomes per partner of more than 35,000 pounds a year) were more likely to be larger, to have younger partners, and to be located in affluent areas. Low income practices (with a net income of less than 20,000 pounds per partner) were smaller, located in more urban areas, and more likely to have Asian partners. High income practices had higher costs per patient and more staff resources. Low income practices had fewer practice resources and faced great disincentives to investment. These practices were concentrated in less affluent areas, where the need for improved organisation of practices is greatest. General practice is becoming increasingly divided between high income, high cost practices and those with low incomes and few resources.