Nurses in Scotland may be able to set up their own surgeries if the Scottish government follows recommendations to enable them to hold GMS contracts.
Primary care legislation, which stipulates the contracts, can only be held by GPs but may be revised to allow non-GPs, such as commercial organisations, to apply.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) argued that the current restrictions limit availability of primary care services, an argument taken up by the Scottish parliament health committee.
GPs have opposed the proposal. Dr Dean Marshall, GPs' Committee (GPC) Scotland chairman, said: "Any attempts to dilute this legislation could potentially have an impact on the future of NHS general practice as we know it and politicians from all parties should think carefully before taking us down this route."
GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said it would be "bizarre" for non-GPs to hold GMS contracts. He said: "Whoever has proposed this doesn't understand contracts or contract law. Nurses do not have the qualifications to be GPs. If they want to be GPs, they can retrain."
"Yet another hare-brained idea from the government. Probably think it's a cheaper way to do things. If i am ill i want to see a doctor!!" – Marie, Lancs
"Absolutely not – have never met a nurse who was able to manage a multidisciplinary team, in 20 years as a practice manager – in fact they are dangerous outside of their 'remit'. They should keep to their scope of practice and let others get on with theirs" – Jean King, Angus
"It would be better if practice managers held the contract and employed practice nurses and GPs. This has already happened in England so why not here?" – Fiona McKinlay, Glasgow