Indemnity Costs Excluding GPs from Profession MDU Claims

A major survey has suggested that newly-qualified GPs are being excluded from the profession due to imposing indemnity costs.

Indemnity has long since been recognised as a major barrier to recruiting new doctors to this critical area of the health service.

And the MDU has revealed that the extortionate cost of indemnity is not only resulting in younger GPs leaving the profession, but also forcing many into early retirement.

Responding to the issue, the MDU indicated that it has been inundated with responses to its Save General Practice campaign, launched just last month.

Initial findings indicated that many younger GPs are considering changing career permanently due to the costs implicated by becoming a general practitioner.

Numerous individuals responding to the survey stated that they are in fact seeking careers outside of medicine owing to expenses.

MDU director of professional services Dr Matthew Lee suggested that the results make it absolutely clear that indemnity issues should be a priority for government.

The government must “act quickly” to provide financial support to GPs to prevent a crisis that “would leave all patients at risk”, Lee stated.

“The number of responses and comments our survey has generated shows the strength of feeling GPs have about the rising cost of indemnity. We expected that some GPs would say they were thinking of retiring earlier or reducing the amount they work. But we didn’t expect that even recently-qualified GPs would be thinking of a career change because of indemnity costs.”

Lee also believes that the fact that general practice is impacted so strongly is particularly worrying.

‘This is really worrying news for general practice, which not only needs to attract more GP trainees, but be able to retain them.’

Many individuals working within the profession have warned about the crisis in general practice, a tone that has generally been echoed by some of the most authoritative healthcare bodies.

Dr Krishna Kasaraneni, BMA Education, Training and Workforce GP lead, spoke just last month of what the British Medical Association perceives to be a decline in general practice recruitment conditions.

“These figures underline just how far we are from meeting the government’s own target of recruiting and retaining more GPs as we near the one year anniversary of the GP Forward View in England. Despite the constant promises from ministers that the GP workforce would be increased by 5,000, the number of full time GPs has fallen once again while the overall number has stagnated. While there have been encouraging increases in other healthcare professionals in general practice, what we really need are GPs who can deliver more appointments and other front line services to meet rising patient demand.”


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