Doctors Give Massive Backing to Shake-Up in Pay and Conditions

By Oakeshott, Isabel | The Evening Standard (London, England), June 20, 2003 | Go to article overview

Doctors Give Massive Backing to Shake-Up in Pay and Conditions


Oakeshott, Isabel, The Evening Standard (London, England)


Byline: ISABEL OAKESHOTT

FAMILY doctors today voted to support revolutionary changes to their pay and conditions.

An overwhelming number of GPs endorsed a new contract setting out revised working hours and linking their salaries to the quality of treatment they offer.

Today's "yes" vote follows weeks of frantic negotiations between the British Medical Association and the Government, amid fears the deal would collapse.

Last-ditch efforts to push through the contract-paid off when 79 per cent of GPs voted to back the new deal.

The association today hailed the result as a "breakthrough" for the profession. Dr John Chisholm, chairman of the BMA's general practitioners committee, said: "This signals a new era for general practice. The profession has given a clear mandate for change. I believe this is the turning point for general practice and that family doctors have chosen the road which will lead them to a better working life and provide even higher-quality care."

The contract is designed to modernise the profession and is central to government plans to improve NHS efficiency. It is supposed to allow hardworking GPs to boost their salaries by offering extra treatments, such as minor surgery, to ease the burden on hospitals. …

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