With a smaller uplift than England and Wales, Scottish GP leaders have described their contract, with an uplift of 1.25%, as ‘bitterly disappointing’.
According to the Scottish government, the increase is in line with the 1% increase all other health workers in Scotland will receive from April 1, 2013.
Health Secretary Alex Neil said: “I am very pleased that we have successfully agreed on a pay increase for GPs to recognise the valuable work they do to improve the public’s health.
“This pay rise reflects the fact that GPs are now be providing extra care for patients at the most risk of being admitted to hospital as well tackling health inequalities, for example asking patients about their alcohol consumption and offering advice and follow-up support if appropriate.”
Yet Dr Alan McDevitt, chairman of the British Medical Association’s Scottish GP Committee disagrees that the ‘uplift’ is fair.
He said: “Today’s announcement is not, as the Cabinet Secretary implies in his statement, an agreement with the profession but an imposition that has not been negotiated by us.”
Dr McDevitt pointed out that the Review Body suggested an uplift of 2.29% to cover the increased cost of running a practice.
He added: “This is the lowest uplift for GPs anywhere in the UK and will further widen the pay gap between GPs in Scotland and those in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
“I am bitterly disappointed with today’s news.”
There has been an increase of people receiving community care, and GPs are a key part of this, according to Neil.
According to the Scottish government, their GP contact reduces bureaucracy, allowing GPs to take an increasingly central role in tackling health priorities such as detecting cancer, reducing alcohol consumption and preventing obesity.