Published: 17/02/2005, Volume II5, No. 5943 Page 10

The general medical services contract could be rewritten to give GPs more of an incentive to provide sexual health services.

Responding to claims from some MPs on the health select committee that GPs might withdraw from the area, Geoff Dessent, deputy division head of sexual health and substance misuse at the Department of Health, told MPs that his team had pushed for sexual health to be included in the original contract, but it had not happened.

'There will be a final review, ' he said. 'We will have to make some arguments and see if there may be particular avenues that could be explored to bring up the issues that you have raised.' Public health minister Melanie Johnson said PCTs did not have to rely only on GPs. 'PCTs can contract in a whole variety of ways, ' she said.

'We hope GPs will continue to provide sexual health services, but we are looking for a mixed economy.'