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Letter of the week: Add a job crisis to your list of worries

There were concerns a while ago that new GPs might struggle to secure jobs after graduation. My experience with the job market is to the contrary. The number of applicants in general practice has fallen and sadly continues to do so.

A vacuum has been created in the job market where the number of applicants for salaried posts, and even partnerships in some cases, has slumped from double-digit figures per post to hardly any. Many trusts in England have struggled to fill short-term and middle-grade posts across other specialities too.

This is partly down to the barring of training posts to non-EU applicants and the anticipated exodus to other countries, especially Australia, compounding the shortage created by the European Working Time Directive.

The situation in general practice is only expected to get worse now, with the more difficult new MRCGP examinations and the limited attempts candidates are allowed.

If you thought all we had to deal with was the squeeze on resources, spirits dampened by the white paper and the expected fall in pay, you should add a job crisis to the list.

It is going to make the changes in the NHS even more difficult to achieve, unless the floodgates for overseas doctors are opened again by our political masters as a quick fix.Dr Kamal Sidhu

Dr Kamal Sidhu, Castle Eden, Cleveland

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