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Independents' Day

Northern Irish Government reviewing GP numbers

The Northern Irish Government is reviewing the country’s GP workforce amid concerns that too few graduates are entering general practice.

The outgoing health minister Jim Wells, who is resigning after making offensive comments about gay people, has said the review is looking at the medical workforce, including undergraduate intake.

He told the Northern Irish Assembly: ‘The Health and Social Care Board is undertaking some work specifically on GP workforce planning.’

Commenting on the plans, NI GPC chair Tom Black told BMA News that ‘despite repeated workforce reviews’ there has been no increase in GP numbers.

He said: ‘General practice [in NI] has the lowest funding per patient in the UK and spending at £125 per patient per year is insufficient to maintain services.

‘We need to train at least 111 GPs per year in Northern Ireland and yet, despite repeated workforce reviews advising an increase in training numbers, there has been no increase.’

NI GPC has highlighted a dire situation on GP recruitment that saw only 33 trainees completing their training in 2014, out of 65 who were due to do so.

The Northern Irish Government announced a £15m investment in GP services last month, although some was in form of loans to practices to upgrade premises.


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Readers' comments (6)

  • Apparently it's not a problem anymore.

    The Tories are going to provide GPs 24 / 7

    It's all sorted now...get with the program man

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  • reviewing to do what exactly?.....debate, denigrate and push the remaining to work more hours, for less pay, make more mistakes, get sued or have the GMC hounding them by patients who have been pushed to complain for anything less than "perfect care".....MDO increasing fees so much that GP's have to work a whole week of the month just to be able to pay their indemnity to protect themselves from the make it more attractive for future doctors to want to be GP's....can anyone see the stupidity of the whole thing here?

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  • Locum with oncall for 350pounds per day? Pay peanuts and you'll get monkeys.
    Any GPs they do train leave for greener pastures.

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  • The vast majority of people can only only dream of earning £350 per day........ come on get real!!!

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  • I wonder how much indemnity the nhs manager pays and how many times they have been sued!
    NI primary care is toast atm

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  • Average INCOME is £ 60 per patient year. Not £125 which includes staff wages.
    Everyone and all and sundry- Tom, Chand,politicians,papers quote 125 or 137 which includes expenses which is plain silly. To put in staff and nurse wages into doctor's wages is daft.
    £ 60 for 7 consultations and 30 other contacts in a year is PEANUTS.
    Stay away from GP land. There is absolutely no control over workload.

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