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Labour to incentivise medical students to choose general practice 'immediately'

The Labour Party is planning to introduce ‘immediate’ incentives for medical students to choose general practice as a career, it has revealed.

The party made the pledge in a statement issued in response to Pulse’s revelation this morning that GP vacancies are at their highest rate since Pulse started running surveys on vacancy rates.

In the statement, Labour shadow health minister Andrew Gwynne accused the Conservative Party for causing the GP crisis by not following up on promises made on GP recruitment.

Mr Gwynne said: ‘These figures reveal the scale of the GP workforce crisis the Tories have created, where warm words on GP recruitment each year are followed by broken promises the next.

‘Labour will take immediate action to incentivise more students to choose GP speciality training, to encourage more GPs to practice in under-doctored areas and to encourage those who have recently left to return to practice.’

He said that after five years of the Tory’s ‘failing plan’ to recruit GPs this would require ‘more ambition and more funding’.

Referring to the party’s plan to raise extra money for the NHS via new taxes on property, Mr Gwynne said: ‘The doomsayers are wrong to say that crisis is inevitable. Labour is determined to turn things around, and we are the only party with a funded plan to do it.’

The RCGP has also responded to the alarming figures, which were revealed in Pulse’s annual analysis of GP vacancy numbers, saying that they have ‘reinforced’ the college’s message that the UK’s ‘severe’ GP shortate is now having a ‘serious impact’ on patients.

RCGP honorary secretary Professor Nigel Mathers said the figures further underlined the college’s campaign for the general practice part of the NHS budget to rise from a record low of 8% and back up to 11%.

He said: ‘Patient demand is increasing rapidly due to our growing and ageing population but this has not been matched with funding or the numbers of GPs and practice staff needed to deliver high standards of care.

‘What’s more, highly trained and experienced family doctors are leaving the profession in growing numbers because of these pressures and not enough medical students are entering general practice to replace them.’

Readers' comments (15)

  • I BLAME THE DAILY MAIL-this "rag" has "terrorised" GPs for years.....and as The Tory mouthpiece has been "feeding the electorate the kind of propaganda that their Tory masters want to put out".

    The sooner this "rag" is "muzzled" the better

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  • whatevs

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  • Yes - and when we train them we will tell them how it is - and not trick the poor souls.

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  • what are the incentives?

    - increase expenses ?
    - reduce future income ?
    - work till they are 75 ?
    - get struck off before they reach 75 ?
    - work 24 hrs a day 7 days a week
    - be responsible for everything and be blamed for everything?

    they would be better off going into politics ...

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  • This shows that Labour completely does not understand the problem and will not tackle the problems that are causing the GP crisis (as none of the others will either)

    The problems are overload of work, pointless bureaucratic politicised work, the obscenity that is the CQC, Monitor, HealthWatch, NHSE, and so on, as well as the tightening of money.

    Silly one-off "incentives" will fool no-one and will not fix the root problems, which are politically created and thus will never be sorted by politicians.

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  • policies policies policies. More policies to solve the old ones. Get rid of everything every policy target quango monitoring body. Pay a rate at least £40 for every 10 min consult £100 for every visit see as many or as few as you like and be paid accordingly and thats it simple time money saved for the country. no crisis as 50+ patients per day would be doable in a 10 hour day with little admin

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  • 2003 job was crappy, shortage of GPs etc.
    2004 contract updated more GPs stayed working, more doctors became GPs
    2015. gradual decline and assault on the job has made GP less desirable

    The answer is to make the job more attractive to all GPs, not by bribing new GPs.

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  • The scale of the problem is much worse than they think. I am currently working out my notice. Whichever Government there is in power, has exactly two months to change my mind.

    Once I have gone I am not returning, as seniority will have gone and my income and influence will be even less. If you lose all these partners then General Practice is not viable.

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  • trying to con medical students - will not work.

    Make the job viable..simples

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  • Incentivise them how exactly?By strapping them in suicide vests with the promise of 72 virgins??Thinking about it, recruiting suicide bombers has many parallels with recruiting GPs.Both groups are young, hopelessly naive and idealistic making them easy targets.I hope modern day medical students are smarter but with the fact that more than 50% of VTS places are still full I seriously doubt it.

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