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Rising indemnity fees could lead to worst ever winter crisis, says new GP leader

BMJ 2017; 358 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j3682 (Published 01 August 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;358:j3682
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. BMJ Careers

The new chair of the BMA’s General Practitioners Committee has a long “to do” list, reports Abi Rimmer

The rising cost of GPs’ indemnity cover could lead to the worst ever winter crisis, as fewer doctors are able to afford to work, the new chair of the BMA’s General Practitioners Committee has warned.

Richard Vautrey, who became chair of the committee last month, said that, after a reduction in the so called discount rate, GPs would see an unparalleled rise in indemnity fees. The “discount rate” is the rate that people receiving lump sums for personal injuries are expected to get if they invest the money.1 A reduction in this rate, which came into effect on 20 March, means that awards will have to be much higher to compensate.

Vautrey said, “One of the big issues is the issue of indemnity. We have secured, in the last contract negotiations, funding to pay for the typical indemnity rises that would have happened year on year. [However], we are now facing a situation that with the discount rate change we’re in we’re going to potentially see a rise for indemnity which is unparalleled, compared …

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