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Major assault predicted on the GP contract in the next few years

I am currently in the southern USA and enjoying their measured and considered attitude to issues of politics, social welfare and the world in general.

If you want to be reminded just how civilised we are in the UK, try Googling 'slutgate' and see just how awful the politics and public office is in the USA. And if you are not bored with that, there are a myriad of magazines and TV adverts here telling you how to de-age by 30 years with a magic cream, find out who has been abducted by aliens and how most people in the street can sue someone, anyone in fact, for millions of dollars.

So you can see that it is with a sense of relief that I get my daily GPonline bulletin, to read intelligent reports by intelligent people on complex issues. But one headline caught my eye: 'GPC says MPIG will continue for 20 years'.

Now I don’t know about you, but if that were true it would be fantastic. Twenty years of having your GMS income protected. But hang on a minute, is this more National Enquirer than Financial Times? Lets look at the article for evidence to support this statement:

For:

- there is no official date for the end of the MPIG
- lots of people think it would be bad for general practice if they were defunded (not my word – promise)

What is the evidence against believing such a statement

- it was not made by government
- even if it did, governments change their mind in less than five years let alone 20
- PMS practices are being defunded (sorry) and closed now and nobody with any power is doing anything to help them
- MPIG was only intended to be a short term fix

So you can call me cynical, but I don’t think there is much comfort here. I think the future is not that bright, in fact I think it could be very difficult indeed. I might be wrong, but I think there is going to be a major assault on the GP contract in the next few years, and this where attention needs to be addressed now.

Perhaps it would be a good idea to practise looking after those PMS practices which have already been defunded (again – sorry) on an arbitrary basis by their PCT to get ready for the big fight.

Sorry chaps, it is the National Enquirer after all!

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