Doctors in Scotland are set to vote on whether they are agreeable to changes to funding proposed as part of the new contract in the nation.
The new contractual terms will become active from 2018, if indeed GPs in the nation approve the contractual terms.
Delegates at the 2017 Scottish LMCs conference in Clydebank demanded on Friday that practice incomes are protected during the transition period to a new Scottish GP contract.
Proposing the motion, Dr Paul Ryan from Glasgow LMC indicated that surgeries in Scotland currently face massive financial pressures.
“I’m not aware of any practice that thinks it has too much money. If the guaranteed funding system changes, then practices are at risk. We cannot remove money from general practice – we have to ensure incomes are protected during this period of change. We cannot see a contract come in that cuts some contracts to try resuscitate others.”
And many doctors attending the conference backed the suggestion that it is fundamentally wrong to effectively rob practices that are working well in order to fund and those that are struggling.
Chair Dr Alan McDevitt lauded the work of the Scottish General Practitioners Committee, indicating that the organisation had been successful in securing agreements from government regarding GMS funding.
As a result of these agreements, the totality of GMS funding will not be reduced when the new contract becomes active.
“We have protected practice incomes in our agreements, but there will always be winners and loser in contract changes. As we remove services from practices, the income will remain with the practices – that’s an important principle of what we’re doing,” McDevitt commented.
And McDevitt went on to outline the process for debating and agreeing the contract, offering his view that he is hopeful that doctors in Scotland will accept the contractual terms negotiated.
“At the end of this, we will present to you the vision on how you will be paid and how this will change. You can vote on whether you accept that new system with its inevitable foibles, and say if this overall going to save general practice – that’s your choice. I’d like to think that will happen towards the end of this year – it still needs to go through parliament – but we will present it to you and give you that choice in a vote after seeing all the good and bad points.”
The motion approved by conference in full was as follows:
“That this conference demands GP practice incomes are protected during the transition period to a new Scottish GP contract.”