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BMA response to new government plans to recruit more GPs from overseas and poor figures on GP workforce increases

BMA Press Release

Immediate Release: Tuesday, 22 August

Responding to the launch of a new drive by NHS England to recruit more GPs from overseas and workforce figures published today showing an increase of barely one per cent in the GP workforce in England , Dr Richard Vautrey, BMA GP Committee Chair:

Plans to recruit more doctors from overseas may help to provide much needed GPs in the short term. These professionals have a strong track record of providing first rate care to patients in the NHS over many decades. However, more needs to be done by the government to create a sustainable, long term basis on which to remedy the huge workforce problems threatening to overwhelm GP services across the country. It is disappointing that once again the latest official figures show only a marginal increase in the GP workforce in England despite repeated promises by politicians that patients would be seeing thousands more GPs trained in the UK delivering care in the NHS.

 

Many GP practices are struggling badly to provide enough appointments and basic services to the public because of endemic staff shortages. A recent BMA poll found that a third of GP practices had vacancies unfilled for more than a year

 

We need the government to not only immediately implement in full the provisions of the GP Forward View but to go beyond this so that Health Education England, NHS England and other bodies are able to recruit and, crucially, retain GPs. Far too many GPs are quitting the profession owing to the overworked and underfunded environment they are expected to work in, while medical graduates are turning their backs on a career in general practice for the same reasons.”

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