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NHS news in brief

Our weekly round of NHS and healthcare stories

Doctors earning `up to £250,000 a year'
Some doctors are earning up to £250,000 a year due to a GP contract effective since 2004, according to a BBC report. The BBC said the figures cane from an annual survey by the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants due out later this month. After exposures on existing NHS deficits, the Department of Health has confirmed overspend on GPs is £300m, suggesting that the GP contract may have significantly affected NHS finances. However, Hamish Meldrum of the British Medical Association, said that the new contract was a response to low GP earnings, compared to similar professions. Joyce Robins, of Patient Concern, stated that ìthe BMA has struck a splendid deal for its membersî.

Immigration rules frustrate doctors
New immigration rules are frustrating overseas doctors in the UK, according to the British Medical Association (BMA). Doctors from outside of the European Economic Area now have to apply for a UK work permit in order to work in the NHS. This means that NHS trusts must now prove that UK or EEA graduates can fill their job vacancies, before employing non-EEA doctors. In reaction, The BMA is looking for confirmation on the effect the regulations may have on foreign doctors in the UK, and is pressing for an extended introductory phase of these immigration rules.

Patient wins Herceptin battle
Breast cancer patient, Ann Marie Rogers, has won her fight to be prescribed Herceptin after a landmark Court of Appeal ruling that her local hospital acted unlawfully, in declining her the cancer drug. Although the drug is unlicensed for early-stage breast cancer, it has been put through extensive trials, and has been licensed for secondary breast cancer since 2002. Some oncologists have prescribed Herceptin as the most effective medication for many patients, and the health secretary, Patricia Hewitt, has supported consideration of its use. Trusts' reactions have been mixed, but the ruling means that PTCs who currently reject funding for Herceptin, will have to review their guidelines.

30th September 2008

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