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Labour pledges to double the number of medical school places

Labour pledges to double the number of medical school places

Labour has said it will reinstate the 45% top tax rate and use the revenue to double the number of medical school places.

Speaking at the Labour conference, shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said the Labour party would deliver one of the biggest expansions of the NHS workforce in history.

It would include doubling the number of medical school places from 7,500 to 15,000, she told delegates.

In addition, they would double the number of district nurses qualifying every year, train 5,000 more health visitors, and create 10,000 more nursing and midwifery clinical placements every year.

Getting public services back on track is crucial for growing the economy, Ms Reeves said, noting that 53% of people who need elective procedures are of working age.

She also cited figures from the Resolution Foundation that suggest 60,000 people are out of work due to mental ill-health, in particular driving youth unemployment.

It follows a ‘mini-budget’ from the Government last week in which they announced they would scrap top 45p income tax rate on earnings of more than £150,000 a year.

Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng also reversed the Health and Social care Levy – which had involved a 1.25% point rise in national insurance – from November.

But he confirmed health and social care funding would remain at the same levels as if the levy remained in place.

The Government said the tax cuts would energise the economy and boost growth.

Labour has said that between now and 2026/27, the 45% tax cut would cost £6bn and benefit just 600,000 people who would each receive £10,000.

It is giving money to those least likely to spend it and drive the economy forwards, the party said.

In her speech to the Labour conference, Ms Reeves said: ‘Strong public services are the foundation of a strong society. We owe everything to those who work in our National Health Service. But we also know, that our health service today is on its knees.’

She added the NHS was a social and economic priority.

‘In the last three years, half a million people have dropped out of the labour market – more than half of those due to long-term illness.’

She continued: ‘The next Labour government will double the number of district nurses qualifying every year train. We will train more than 5,000 new health visitors. We will create an additional 10,000 nursing and midwife placements every year.

‘More than that: We will implement the biggest expansion of medical school places in British history doubling the number of medical students so our NHS has doctors it needs.’

The Government said in July that there was ‘no room for flexibility this year’ to increase medical school places and that it was doing ‘lots of things’ to address the problems in general practice.

Michelle Donelan, minister of state for higher and further education, was asked in Parliament on 1 July about whether there were plans to lift the cap on medicine course places for the academic year 2022/2023.

She said there would be no expansion on the temporary lift on the cap on medical and dental school places in 2020 and 2021.


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Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Patrufini Duffy 27 September, 2022 7:46 pm

Whilst UK medics discourage children to be medics in the UK.