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Certification of new GPs is rising but the increase is a 'drop in the ocean' compared to the scale of the recruitment crisis.

Figures from the Joint Committee on Postgraduate Training for General Practice show 908 certificates issued so far this year, compared with 812 in the whole of 2004.

Some 302 were given to overseas-qualified doctors, a 42 per cent rise. Women GPs accounted for 57 per cent of the total.

Katie Carter, chief executive of the JCPTGP, said many overseas GPs returned immediately to their home country after getting their certificate.

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