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Earmark GP training funds or fail on GP recruitment target, Dixon tells Government

Government plans for half of medical students choosing to become GPs by 2016 will fail unless medical schooling is reformed and given ‘earmarked’ GP funding, a leading GP has warned.

Speaking at the organiation’s annual conference in London today, NHS Alliance chair Dr Michael Dixon stressed the importance of exposure to general practice to encourage medical students to choose the specialism.

And he warned that trainees would not pick general practice unless they get more exposure to the profession.

The call comes as Pulse revealed that GPC is setting up a taskforce to campaign for equitable funding for training and placements in GP practices.

The Department of Health has mandated Health Education England to train an additional 3,250 GPs by 2016.

But Dr Dixon said: ‘The secretary of state is quite right to say we need 50% of doctors to become GPs. But it won’t happen unless we revolutionise a flawed system that currently gives training doctors minimum exposure to primary care, then channels all the funding for primary care education through hospitals and then… through secondary care-dominated medical schools.’

‘If we want the money to go in to GP training then it must be earmarked centrally for GP training.’

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