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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Money needed to keep GPs in poor areas

As a final-year medical student I am experiencing first hand the challenge GPs in the south Wales valleys face in managing patients with chronic illnesses.

I am thriving on the challenge of seeing patients with COPD, diabetes and other socioeconomic health problems, and hope I can return to Merthyr Tydfil to work as a doctor for many years to come.

However, many of my peers do not want to practise in Wales because of the long hours, underfunding and frustrations of managing so much chronic illness.

If we are to address the underlying health problems of poor areas such as the one in which I am working, we must look at ways of attracting local doctors back to their home regions.

Perhaps the way forward is to offer financial incentives for practising in the area you come from, such as a golden handcuffs policy, similar to the one offered to newly qualified teachers.

Alternatively, student fees could be waived for those ready to commit before they qualify to careers in certain areas.

With medical students graduating with an average of £23,000 of debt, what better way to attract people?

David Gwynfor Samuel, fifth-year medical student, Cardiff University

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