The number of GP training places accepted in Wales has once more exceeded the national target, the Welsh health minister has announced.
Health minister Vaughan Gething revealed that 186 training posts have been filled this year, a 38% increase from the same point last year.
In June, Mr Gething asked Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) to review the number of training posts after official figures showed 155 places had been taken, surpassing the target fill rate of 136.
As a result, the target rose from 136 to 160 for this autumn, but new figures show 186 places have already been filled.
Mr Gething said: ‘Once again we’ve managed to overfill our GP training places, this time against our newly increased target. Together with recruitment from outside Wales, we’ve made excellent progress in recruiting doctors to our NHS in recent years.’
He added: ‘I’m delighted we’ve been able to exceed our new increased target for GP training places. Our message that Wales is an excellent place to train, work and live is clearly having an effect at home and abroad. While our GP trainee incentives are helping us meet our recruitment targets in areas that have historically proved difficult.
The health minister said he has been travelling to India to ‘raise the profile’ of NHS Wales as part of a drive to recruit more doctors.
He said: ‘The Welsh Government is determined to ensure our NHS has the skilled workforce it needs to meet our long term ambitions for the NHS.’
HEIW director of postgraduate GP education Professor Phil Matthews said: ‘We’re very pleased to have been able to increase the number of training places in Wales and to have so many doctors choosing to come here to carry out their training.
‘Within only a few years, many more qualified GPs will emerge to help Welsh primary care meet the challenges it faces in the coming decades.
‘We’d like to thank all our GP educators and administrative staff throughout Wales for their continued hard work and commitment to GP training.’