The number of GP training places in Wales is set to increase by almost 18% this autumn, the Welsh health minister has said.
Health minister Vaughan Gething has asked Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) to review the number of training posts following the news that the target fill rate of 136 places has already been filled this year.
This year, 155 GP training places have already been filled, and as a result, the target fill rate will increase from 136 to 160, beginning this autumn.
Mr Gething has said now is a good time to review the target given the target has since been over-filled.
Mr Gething said: ‘We have made excellent progress since launching our Train, Work, Live campaign in 2016 to attract GP trainees to Wales. In two of the last three years we have over-filled our target number of training places so now is good time to look at increasing the target.
‘I have asked HEIW to review our GP training places to ensure we have the skilled workforce we need to meet our long term ambitions for the NHS, set out in A Healthier Wales. I want to increase the number of places to 160 in time for the next round of recruitment in 2019 and I hope we can move towards an even higher target in the near future.
‘I have also agreed where there are further opportunities to take on more GP trainees than the 160, HEIW can proceed if there is capacity to do so.’
HEIW medical director Professor Push Mangat, said: ‘We are absolutely delighted the Welsh Government have agreed to fund our plan to increase GP training numbers in Wales. This will have a positive impact on local healthcare services and the health and wellbeing of residents. Wales has a lot to offer and we look forward to welcoming more doctors to train as GPs in Wales.’
A Pulse investigation recently revealed an out-of-hours service in Wales had no GP on shift 125 times last year.