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Independents' Day

Older patients lose on statins

I was interested in your story about GP partner jobs being reduced to a trickle (News, August 20).

As a GP principal for 25 years I have seen many changes in the community health care system which, dare I say, over the longer-term may well lead eventually to a jobs crisis in general practice.

Hard, perhaps, to imagine at the moment for salaried employment is still readily available. But having worked in a training practice for many years, I have been at the forefront of the development of nurse prescribing, training of nurse practitioners, paramedics and health care assistants who will be qualified to do much of the work that would have fallen on my shoulders in years gone by.

Suffice to say that, with the development of super-surgeries and walk-in centres with perhaps one or two well-qualified consultant GPs in overall charge, but with the main body of work being carried out by these paramedical personnel, the need for GPs in the long-term will diminish.

Indeed I suspect this might well happen just at the time the increased output of doctors from the new medical schools really starts to impinge on the job market.

Thus in the long-term perhaps those incredibly academically talented youngsters about to enter medical school should think twice before committing themselves to an uncertain future.

Dr Ian James


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