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Local approaches to the general practice recruitment crisis

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: (Published 05 March 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k991

Re: Local approaches to the general practice recruitment crisis

The local approaches described seem to be having some success, and are therefore worthwhile. But these localities might not be in greatest need. If GPs are recruited to these localities, then those doctors cannot work in places where the shortage might be more severe. The only way to ensure an equitable distribution of the primary medical workforce is to re-instate the central body, or something similar, that was the Medical Practices Committee for England and Wales. As its Secretary from 1981 to 1983 and again from 1995 to 1999, I saw at first hand the gradual but continuous effect: Refusing to allow GPs to work in over-doctored areas combined with inducements to work in under-doctored areas was a necessary evil from 1948 to 2000, when the Committee was abolished. No mechanism has replaced the Committee, which was at its most effective when the shortage of GPs was historically even worse than now.

Competing interests: No competing interests

12 March 2018
John G Gooderham
locum lollipop lady
38 Broomfield Drive, Billinghsurst, RH14 9TJ