GP salaries spiral to whopping £300,000
PUBLISHED: 13:38 18 March 2010 | UPDATED: 17:42 25 August 2010
AN INQUIRY is needed into exorbitant GP salaries after it was revealed one doctor in the borough earns more than £300,000 a year.
AN INQUIRY is needed into "exorbitant" GP salaries after it was revealed one doctor in the borough earns more than £300,000 a year.
Charles Brooker, the former Patient's Forum chairman at Queen Mary's Hospital in Sidcup, has demanded an investigation into the salaries for GP's within NHS Greenwich, which were revealed after a Freedom of Information request.
One GP, Suppiah Ratneswaren, who has links to four practices in the borough, earns more than £300,000, and told reporters at the weekend that 90 per cent of his pay was from the NHS.
Despite the massive figure he also revealed that he was not the best paid GP in Greenwich.
Mr Brooker, of Thanet Road, Bexley Village, said: "I'm shocked that one doctor can earn so much, it's an awful lot of money. I expect GPs to be paid sensibly, something in the region of £100,000 and they should be able to manage well on that.
"I would like to see an inquiry: what we need to know is how they can claim so much, what hours do they do, and where the money is coming from.
"My concern is that NHS services are changing so fast, exorbitant GP salaries are slipping through the net. We have seen this in other aspects of government, salaries have to be accountable and open for scrutiny by the taxpayers."
The figures, which relate to 2007 and 2008, the most recent year for which information is available, show that another GP in the borough earned £270,000 and six others on more than £190,000 in annual earnings.
Mr Ratneswaren, who has links to four separate NHS practices in Greenwich, said: "I don't want to be seen as a money-hungry doctor because I am driven by the quality of work and I work very hard. I have got nothing to hide."
Mr Brooker also slammed the new Greenwich Local Involvement Network (LINk), set up by health providers to replace patient forums with the intention of giving the public a greater say over services.
He said: "The idea is to invite organisations in, but they all push their own agenda and instead of focussing on the patients it has become more difficult to question the way things are run."
NHS Greenwich provides GPs services through its 46 GP practices to over 250,000 people.
A statement issued by NHS Greenwich said: "How practices pay staff within each practice is a decision for partners of that practice as independent contractors.
"Individual salaries are determined by the practice owners and not determined by NHS Greenwich."
It added: "Each practice has a contract for the delivery of services for its patients and NHS Greenwich monitors the quality of the services received by patients.