Health secretary Patricia Hewitt has said the government would have considered capping GPs' earning potential under their contract if it had predicted the extent of their increased profits.

Information Centre for health and social care figures show that the percentage of GPs' revenue taken as profit after expenses rose from 40 per cent in 2003-04 to 45 per cent in 2004-05, when the new contract kicked in.

In a BBC News web interview Ms Hewitt said: 'I think if we anticipated this business of GPs taking a higher share of income in profits, we would have wanted to do something to ensure the ratio of profits to the total income stayed the same, and therefore more money was invested in even better services for patients.'

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Health secretary Patricia Hewitt has said the government would have considered capping GPs' earning potential under their contract if it had predicted the extent of their increased profits.

Information Centre for health and social care figures show that the percentage of GPs' revenue taken as profit after expenses rose from 40 per cent in 2003-04 to 45 per cent in 2004-05, when the new contract kicked in.

In a BBC News web interview Ms Hewitt said: 'I think if we anticipated this business of GPs taking a higher share of income in profits, we would have wanted to do something to ensure the ratio of profits to the total income stayed the same, and therefore more money was invested in even better services for patients.'

Read the article here