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Government must address issues deterring GPs not just bribe medical students

Statement from GP, Dr Louise Irvine of the National Health Action Party
(Reaction to news of £10m government initiative to encourage newly qualified medics to boost numbers and stave off existing GPs from early retirement
"We're pleased our demand to recruit more GPs is in the spotlight. But this initiative is yet another cynical pre-election ploy from a government that's spent its whole time in office under-funding General Practice and lumbering GPs with the burdensome bureaucracy generated by its wasteful NHS reforms.
"There's no point trying to bribe medical students to become GPs. The goverment must confront the issues that are deterring them and causing current doctors to abandon this sector. It's not about the money paid to individual GPs. It's about the money the government is willing to invest in General Practice as a whole. General Practice accounts for 90% of NHS patient contacts but gets just 8.3% of the NHS budget.  The Royal College of GPs says it needs 11% of the NHS budget by 2017 in order to cut waiting times and guarantee safe care for patients.

"GPs are increasingly unable to cope with their burgeoning workload since the govt's 2012 reforms, which is why they are leaving. As well as extra bureacracy, the average number of patients that GPs have to deal with has gone up hugely but there has been no matching increase in GP numbers or resources to meet that increased demand. Recent figures from the Royal College of GPs show family doctors now regularly consult with up to 60 patients a day and the College estimates that the average number of consultations carried out by each GP in England per year has risen by 1,450 since 2008 from 9,264 to 10,714. ​ That means the average GP is having to fit in an extra 1450 consultations.

"GPs are having to deal with ​more ​elderly and ​very complex patients with several long term conditions at the same time and much more complex medication regimes than, say, 20 years ago. And they are also having to face a huge amount of unfunded extra work ​ that​ has been transferred from hospitals to GP​s, including most of the management of long term conditions.

"Being a GP ‎has become an increasingly stressful and frustrating job under this government which is having a serious impact on morale."

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