Letter: Why young doctors are turning away from general practice

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From Dr Richard O'Brien

Sir: The Government's reaction to the problem of recruiting GPs is smug and complacent. They seem unable to understand that they themselves have turned general practice into an undesirable career.

I have been a GP for only four years, yet already I feel demoralised and undervalued. Let me give you just one example of how the Government undermines our morale.

This year we will again have nearly pounds 800 taken out of our income as "clawback". This is money that GPs earned by meeting activity targets set by the Government as part of the new contract. The trouble is, it did not expect GPs to meet these targets, and it is taking the money back despite it having been earned in good faith by sheer hard work.

With treatment like this, can anyone be surprised that fewer people than ever want to become GPs?

Yours faithfully,

Richard O'Brien

Highbridge, Somerset