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Vacancy rates rise by 220% in London

Vacant GP posts in London rocketed by 221 per cent between 2000 and 2003, the Government has admitted.

In response to a parliamentary question from Liberal

Democrat mayoral candidate Simon Hughes, health minister John Hutton said there were 459 vacancies in the capital in the year to March 2003 compared with 143 in 2000.

Mr Hughes, MP for North Southwark and Bermondsey, said: 'Many new GPs are not coming to work in London because with huge debts to pay off, they don't stand a chance of getting on the property ladder.'

Mr Hutton said there had been a rise of 175 GPs in the capital since 1999, and London trusts were planning to recruit a further 200 doctors by March 2006.

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