It seems that our noble doctoring profession - the one that wants to maintain cosy little local monopolies rather than expose itself to competition - has other ways for its members to make huge amounts of money at the taxpayers expense:
The taxpayer-funded “notional rent” scheme allows GPs to buy buildings for their surgeries which they then “rent” back to the Department of Health for more than the mortgage repayments, according to the report.
Surgeries are then sold off when the GP retires and they are allowed to keep the profits from the sale of the building.
A nice little earner I think this is called:
The NHS paid GPs £630m in rent for their privately-owned surgeries last year, an increase of 70 per cent since 2004, when the figure stood at £370m.
The total cost to the Department of Health in the past five years has been £2.5bn.
But, as we know, the doctors aren't in it for the money - this is just a way of getting better premises - or so say the Department of Health (should we not rename it the department of making doctors even richer?):
"This system incentivises GPs to expand and improve services so that people have proper access to modern facilities. It represents the cost to GPs of renting or owning the premises, and is a cost that would met by government direct if GPs did not."
So we pay more than the borrowing cost to GPs and allow them to keep the capital gain - all sounds a bit like how another "professional" group feathered their nests!