Thank heavens we gave salaried GPs – those not really coining it in from running their own practices – a pay rise of 3% this year. Okay, these days only 56% of appointments are face to face. The rest are over the phone or online and the number of missed diagnoses for cancer and other life threatening ailments is, as a result, soaring. The average GP works well under the maximum 48 hours per week and yet, after four years of inflation busting pay rises the data is shocking but the greedy bastards want more.
The highest earning GP last year trousered £700,000. 270 GPs in England and Wales have pensionable annual incomes above £200,000 and the average wage is now in excess of £100,000. So for, in most cases, a 40 hour week without – in many cases the need to actually meet any “customers” all week the average Shipman is in the top 3% of earners.
Yet, of course, the greedy bastards want more as do junior doctors who will pretty soon be swilling on the same gravy train once their apprenticeship is completed. They say that if they are not paid more the profession will see a tsunami of leavers. Really? Where could these Shipmans actually get more money for less work?
The real reason that Doctors opt to take early retirement or go part time is because not only do they earn an enormous salary but they are also set up for life with a Defined Benefit Pension, the sort of gold framed pension now only available in the public sector. And these schemes are unfunded, not paid for as they go along but from the proceeds of general taxation.
Those of us in the productive sector get an average employer contribution to our Defined Contribution pensions of 3.5% of salary. Thanks to the generous taxpayer, the NHS chips in 20.58%, which means – according to consultants Lane & Peacock, an NHS DB pension is, ceteris paribus, worth three times as much as that of an oik like me in the private sector over a 20 year period. So the £100,000 a year base salary for your GP sitting in his front room taking the odd zoom call this morning is just the start of his or her package. The value of that added pension is probably worth another 30% on top pushing an average GP, largely WFH and doing normal hours, into the top 2% of earners.
But still the bastards want more money. Your money. Unlike we peasants in the private sector paying for this troughing, GPs did not lose their jobs in lockdown. Their jobs really are 100% safe until they call it a day or are exposed as having murdered dozens of little old ladies. But if you dare suggest to the BBC or the Guardian or indeed anywhere in the liberal deadwood press that what they should really be urging us all to do is to bang pots and pans next Thursday demanding big GP pay cuts to keep more folks in the profession and you will be branded an alt right fat cat from the private sector. I wish!