GP crisis looms despite increase in doctor training

GP
vacancies are on the increase and government assurances that more doctors are
training will not fill the gaps, according to the British Medical Association
(BMA).

Government
figures for England and Wales show there have been more vacancies in GP
practices in the past year and they were harder to fill, with more than
two-thirds of the posts remaining vacant for at least six months.

On
Tuesday, the Government released statistics to show the number of doctors in
training had risen by 50 per cent since 1997, from 5,050 to 7,662, with 2,250
more medical school places and four new medical schools opening their doors in
the past year.

Dr
John Chisholm, chairman of the BMA’s GPs committee, said: "We are aware
that more doctors are being trained and this is welcome news, but many of them
wish to work part-time in general practice.

"Similarly
the attempts to bring qualified doctors back into the profession are helpful,
but you cannot equate a doctor wishing to work a few sessions a week with a
retiring full-time GP," he said.

By Michael
Millar

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