Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Back In The Knife Box, Dr Sharp
We've blogged a few times about how well GPs have done out of their new pay deal: thanks to the naive negotiators at the Department of Health, they're now averaging over £100 grand pa for fewer hours.
As we know, our splendid MPs are chasing their own £100 grand basic, so they're wheeling out Red Robbo style 1970s comparability:
"A northern Labour MP, who asked not to be named [what bravehearts these MPs are] has caused uproar by comparing MPs' salaries with current earnings of family doctors."
And the Docs are not amused. Dr Laurence Buckman, deputy chairman of the BMA's family doctors' group and a one-man practice, said:
"My job is to preserve and save the lives of 2,000 people and I think I do that reasonably well. Whereas, there are 646 MPs, many of whom are people who are not particularly gifted and who do not do anything to preserve either individual or collective lives."
Oooh. Back in the box.
Now, Dr Buckman... your sentiments re MPs do you credit, I'm sure. But isn't it just a tad immodest to big yourself up like that?
Also- and more fundamentally- why do you think that you should be paid more than someone else just because you're "gifted"? Admittedly you're on firmer ground with "preserve and save the lives of 2,000 people", but gifted? The ghastly truth is that your economic price depends only on what other people will pay you to do for them, not how "gifted" you are.
As with all public employees, we have no real idea what you or our MPs should actually cost, because there's no free market price. Only the administered price those negotiating bureaucrats come up with in their non-smoking zone rooms in Whitehall.
Sadly, it's difficult to see how we could bring the market into MPs pay- the price would immediately plummet to zero, and probably stay there. But for you GPs, reform based on real choice and competition would do the trick.
Now... just remind me, what do GPs get paid overseas?
PS Didn't Dr Buckman used to be one half of a medico comedy duo... or am I misremebering that?
Posted by Mike D at 8:35 am