It costs the taxpayer £230,000 to train a doctor, over and above fees paid by individuals. After having been trained a self-employed doctors can earn in excess of £100,000 a year. It is not unheard of for some GPs to earn even greater amounts, especially those that do consultancy work, offer large number of services or hold lots of NHS contracts.
An effective plan would be to reduce their student debt by a percentage for each year they work in the NHS. This will give them an annual reduction and the NHS would benefit from having spent £230,000 on training them.
Doctors could be forced to work for NHS for at least five years under plans for ‘home grown’ expansion
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt will tell the Conservative conference that he plans to bring in training for up to 1,500 more doctors a year CREDIT: PA
- Laura Donnelly, health editor
14 MARCH 2017 • 6:01AM
Doctors could be forced to work in the UK for at least five years after completing their training, under plans by Jeremy Hunt to expand the supply of home-grown doctors.
The Health Secretary will today unveil plans for the largest ever expansion in the NHS medical workforce, training an extra 1,500 doctors a year.
The scheme means the number of junior doctors will expand by one quarter, in an effort to ensure Britain is less reliant on overseas doctors, in the years after Brexit.
Today Mr Hunt said the plans were part of efforts to create “the safest healthcare system in the world” while ensuring value for money.
It costs the taxpayer £230,000 to train a doctor, over and above fees paid by individuals.
New plans today sets out proposals for a “return of service” programme – similar to that used by the armed forces.
Under the proposals, medics could be forced to pay back some of their training costs, if they do not stay in the NHS.
A public consultation will seek views on the idea, and consider a range of options for length of service – ranging from two years to more than five.
“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,” Mr Hunt said.
Health officials are working on plans to increase the supply of medics trained in this country CREDIT: PA
“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.”
Health officials said decisions about what proportion of costs might be repaid would be taken following discussion about the principles of the scheme, once public support for the idea had been tested.
Currently more than 6,000 university training places are available each year for prospective new doctors. This will increase by up to 1,500 each year from 2018/19, under the plans.
Britain relies more on foreign doctors than any major EU nation, international research shows.
More than a third of NHS doctors – some 35 per cent – were born abroad.
The UK is also one of the highest exporters of doctors, research by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development shows.
Health officials said the expansion in training places would also reduce future reliance on expensive locum and agency doctors.
Professor Ian Cumming, chief executive of Health Education England, said: “This major investment in undergraduate places is very welcome. The 25 per cent 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.
Health officials said there would be some exemptions which meant doctors might not have to repay costs, such as for those on maternity leave.
Last week Mr Cumming told MPs that almost all doctors who train in the UK currently “give a lot more than four years to the NHS”.
He said he wanted to ensure there was no change to this trend, “rather than correcting a problem that isn’t there at the moment.”