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'It takes us a year to replace one partner'

Dr Subathra Ratnarajan says GPs in her PCT now expect to wait at least a year to recruit a partner. The BMA's latest GP vacancy survey showed her PCT, Greenwich in south-east London, had the highest vacancy rate with 16 per cent of posts unfilled for three months or more.

Dr Ratnarajan, a PMS GP, said it took her practice six months to recruit a salaried GP and she and her partner had to work 10-hour days to cover the workload.

'When we have a vacancy, each doctor does the work for one-and-a-half doctors,' she said.

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