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UK GPs are best paid in the industrialised world

Major report finds that UK GPs earn 3.4 times the average salary – a higher proportion than in other countries

Ingrid Torjesen

Thursday, 21 November 2013

The gulf between the average earnings of GPs and the average worker is highest in the UK, a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has found.

The report Health at a Glance 2013 shows that in the UK GPs were paid 3.4 times average earnings in 2010. That differential was three fold in Ireland, Canada and the Netherlands, but far lower in other countries, falling to 1.7 times average earnings in Australia and 1.4 times average earnings in Hungary.

And unusually GPs earn more than hospital specialists in the UK as UK specialists earn on average only 3 times average earnings. The only other countries where this happens are Denmark and Poland. The report adds that in many countries the income gap between general practitioners and specialists has widened over the past decade, reducing the financial attractiveness of general practice.

Meanwhile the report shows that patients consult their doctor less often in the UK. The average person in the UK sees a doctor around five times a year – while the average for all OECD countries is between six and seven times. As a result doctors in the UK see fewer patients per year than the average in the OECD countries.

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