Medicopolitical Digest

Britain needs 1000 more GPsMr Dobson warns on executive payGMSC will issue guidance on primary care groups

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 25 April 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1323
  1. Linda Beecham, Medicopolitical digest is prepared by

    Britain needs 1000 more GPs

    The General Medical Services Committee says that Britain needs 1000 more GPs and has called on the government to work with the profession to make general practice more attractive.

    At a conference in London last week the committee's chairman, Dr John Chisholm, said that the average GP worked a 62 hour week, with more than a quarter working more than 80 hours. Many list sizes were 600 above the national average and in some parts of Britain—for example, the south Wales valleys and parts of north east England—vacancies were left unfilled for 18 months to two years. In many areas—particularly some inner city areas—general practice had been kept afloat by the 3000 overseas born and trained doctors. Many of these, Dr Chisholm said, would retire in the next 15 years and there were insufficient young doctors to take their place.

    “It is important that we take action now because all the figures are in the wrong direction,” the GMSC chairman told the meeting. Some steps were already being taken, such as the expansion of preregistration house officers in general practice and innovative developments in vocational training. But more attention had to be paid to …

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