'GPs deserve high wages'

Last updated at 18:15 19 April 2006

Sixty per cent of patients support their GPs receiving high wages, a poll has revealed. It follows the surprising news that some doctors are earning up to £250,000 a year.

More than 1,500 readers took part in the Mail online poll with 62 per cent saying they support the high salaries and 38 per cent against.

GP wages have risen by 25 per cent since 2004 with the average GP earning more than £100,000, according to the first survey of the new 'payment for points' system.

Niall Dickson chief executive of the King's Fund said: "For the average person going to their GP the very idea that their doctor might be earning between £200,000 and £250,000 would be really astonishing."

However, Mail online readers actually believe the salaries are justified.

Becky from Tunbridge Wells said: "GPs do one of the most worthwhile jobs in the country. We should be rewarding people who go into services such as the NHS and police, not questioning this," she said.

"I would rather pay GPs than the leeches that bleed us all dry - MPs, solicitors, estate agents, then you get the footballers that earn that a week," Graham from Uckfield pointed out.

"Doctors do a challenging and difficult job. They regularly put up with abuse from patients, and let's not forget most of these higher salaries will be paying 40 per cent income tax," Linda from Somerset added.

However, 38 per cent of readers said the NHS was already facing huge deficits.

"I think it's incredible that GPs can milk the system when they know the NHS is on the verge of meltdown.

"How many companies would give employees a 25 per cent increase when they were going to potentially fold?" Jeff Mcgowan from Inverness asked.

"This is ridiculous," Carolyn King from Kent said.

"They don't work out of hours any more and you have to rely on NHS Direct for night-time care. How can these salaries be justified when thousands of NHS staff have been made redundant because trusts cannot balance their books?"

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