Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, has announced that the target for GP training places in Wales has once again been exceeded.
The quota for GP training places increased from 136 to 160 this year and 186 places have been filled. Representing an increase of 38% on last year’s 144 places filled.
The Minister has also been in India to raise the profile of an NHS Wales drive to recruit doctors.
Mr Gething said:
Once again we’ve managed to overfill our GP training places, this time against our newly increased target. Together with recruitment from outside Wales, we’ve made excellent progress in recruiting doctors to our NHS in recent years.
I’m delighted we’ve been able to exceed our new increased target for GP training places. Our message that Wales is an excellent place to Train, Work and Live is clearly having an effect at home and abroad. While our GP trainee incentives are helping us meet our recruitment targets in areas that have historically proved difficult.
But in order to ensure we can recruit the workforce our health service needs, we also need to look outside Wales, which is why I have been in India to help promote our recruitment efforts there.
The Welsh Government is determined to ensure our NHS has the skilled workforce it needs to meet our long term ambitions for the NHS, set out in A Healthier Wales.
The Train Work Live campaign includes two financial incentives: £20,000 to GP trainees taking up posts in specified areas with a trend of low fill rates, and a universal scheme offering a one off payment for all GP trainees to cover the cost of one sitting of their final examinations.
Professor Phil Matthews, Director of Postgraduate GP Education, Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) said:
We’re very pleased to have been able to increase the number of training places in Wales and to have so many doctors choosing to come here to carry out their training.
Within only a few years, many more qualified GPs will emerge to help Welsh Primary Care meet the challenges it faces in the coming decades.
We’d like to thank all our GP educators and administrative staff throughout Wales for their continued hard work and commitment to GP training.
India has been an important destination for the Welsh Government’s efforts to attract more doctors from outside Wales. The recruitment campaign run by NHS Wales together with the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, as part of the Medical Training Initiative (MTI) scheme, aims to bring medical professionals from India to work in NHS Wales for up to 24 months. The mutually beneficial scheme provides doctors from overseas the opportunity to work and train in Wales. Last year 108 doctors were offered positions in NHS Wales through the scheme.
During his visit to India Mr Gething met some of the candidates who have applied for places on the Medical Training Initiative scheme in NHS Wales, as well as meeting the NHS Wales recruitment team.