A bonus scheme for top doctors should be replaced by a system that rewards staff across the NHS, Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon has said.
The distinction awards for consultants costs taxpayers more than £350m across Britain every year.
Ms Sturgeon (pictured) has written to Prime Minister Gordon Brown on the issuing, saying it should be approached on a "four-country basis" to avoid one country gaining an advantage over another in recruiting consultants.
The Scottish government wants to freeze next year's Budget for the awards, which have been in place since the foundation of the NHS 60 years ago.
Ms Sturgeon said: "The NHS now works in very different ways, with a completely different skill mix from that of the past.
"It is important that we recognise and reward the high level of talent that we have in the workforce but that we do so in a fair and cost-effective way.
"The existing schemes are outdated and do little to create a drive for excellence throughout the clinical teams we have now and which we would wish to encourage further. They are, therefore, in need of change."