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RCGP chair says Government can’t force doctors to work four years in the NHS

Exclusive The chair of the RCGP has argued that the Government's new policy of tying trained doctors to the NHS for four years will not happen because it 'can't be enforced'.

But, speaking to Pulse at the RCGP conference, Dr Maureen Baker warned that his policy might still ‘put potential graduates off studying medicine’.

Dr Baker argued that ‘If doctors did leave, you’d want people to come back’, so ‘you couldn’t criminalise’ doctors leaving the NHS.

‘What are you going to do, take their passports off them for four years?’ she added.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced that he intends to keep doctods in the NHS for four years after their training in a bid to make NHS 'self-sufficient’ for doctor recruitment.

In the speech, made earlier this week at the Conservative Party conference, Mr Hunt also said he wanted the NHS to be less reliant on doctors trained overseas, by training 1,500 more 'homegrown' doctors every year.

View the full video with Dr Maureen Baker below

Readers' comments (7)

  • Maureen, hunt will do what he likes. You are deluded if you think you can stop him. He will just impose four year handcuffs but argue that he only advised it. He's a Slytherin and RCGP are Hufflepuffs.

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  • Is she really that deluded? All he has to do is ensure the GMC lapdogs will not issue a certificate of good standing for the first 4 years after graduation. He can't stop people going out of the country; he can engineer to make it impossible for them to be able to work in medicine anywhere overseas. Easily.

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  • Unfortunately can't hear the interview, but I would have thought that a government that can impose a Junior Doctor Contract, can make junior doctors work for 4 years!

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  • He could just make you pay the entire cost in one go. Very naive from Mo here.

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  • the proposal doesn't make any sense?

    is it 4 years from starting medical school? 4 years after house jobs? 4 years after specialty training?

    what those docs that take time out for research, family matters, illness?

    why target doctors what about other university courses that get taxpayer supplementation. in fact what about dentists and science students - are you telling me that their fees pay for CERN, nuclear reactors etc

    the announcement is a slap in the face for all doctors as it says rather than making the profession more attractive we, the state are are going to force you to stay and will single out doctors over other professions.

    so when the bankers were too big to fail and threatened to leave they were given tax payers money but doctors who want to leave will be forced to stay. it is double standards and shoes that the political elite hate doctors.

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  • I am not taking sides. I know it costs around one quarter of a million pounds to train a doctor. If the government has paid a substantial part of the costs to train up a doctor, what they don't want to see is the doctor leaving the NHS immediately after completing the training. I can see they want to introduce a system to tie the trained doctor to the NHS for a period of time in order to make their spending on the trained doctor worthwhile. I don't think there are many other university courses which cost this much to train. Just my personal view only.

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  • I "trained" in the UK as a medical student. Not sure where all this "tax payer's money" is going on training us. As far as I remember, I paid tuition fees, I paid my rent, I paid for my food/clothes, I paid for my textbooks and equipment, I paid for countless taxis/buses/trains to placement over 5 years and I bloody studied and sat the exams. Even after training when I started work there are hundreds of extra "good will" hours that I put in well after my shift ended and have never been paid overtime. As far as I'm concerned I put myself through medical school not the bloody tax payer. Also I'm astonished how the tax-payer gets so bent out of shape about medics leaving the NHS for something better when tax-dodging companies, duck pond/rent boy loving MP's and banks are the ones abusing tax payer's money. How about they start with them first????

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