Doctors to be Tied to NHS for More Than Five Years

New Department of Health proposals will see newly-qualified doctors tied to the NHS system for more than five years.

The new initiative will also see greater focus placed on GP training in an attempt to improve the plight of general practice.

Consultations are forthcoming with doctors on whether a military-style minimum term should be introduced.

The government has already committed to increasing the number of undergraduate placements available in an attempt to increase the number of homegrown doctors by 25%.

Jeremy Hunt has already hailed this policy as “the largest single increase in doctor training places in the history of the NHS”.

The changes will be implemented by September 2018, with 1,500 additional places made available in English medical schools for domestic students.

A consultation is due to run until 17th June, with respondents being quizzed on whether they agree with implementing a minimum number of service years as a fair mechanism.

It is argued that failing to do so could mean that taxpayers are exploited.

In the debate on the subject, doctors will be asked whether the minimum term should last for two, three, four or five years, with even an option for more than five years to be logged.

Existing doctors will also be asked with a graduate should be required to repay funding if they fell to work in the NHS for the prescribed period agreed on.

Commenting on the issue, Holland explained the ethos behind the decision and consultation.

“We want our NHS to be the safest healthcare system in the world, being driven by talented doctors in the future just as it is now. By expanding our supply of home-grown doctors and proposing that they serve patients in the NHS for a minimum term, we will ensure taxpayer investment in the NHS is returned. While we are proud of our workforce, for too long the NHS has relied too heavily upon locum and agency doctors, and superb staff from overseas – all the while budding medics in England are turned away from medical school due to a lack of training places.”

Professor Ian Cumming, chief executive of Health Education England, expressed his satisfaction at the investment in British doctors.

“This major investment in undergraduate places is very welcome. The 25% increase in places is a clear commitment to a sustainable future home-grown medical workforce, making us self-sufficient in doctors for years to come, giving more young people from diverse backgrounds the chance to become a doctor.”


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