ENGLAND is to train more doctors so that it can end its reliance on foreign recruits for the NHS after it leaves the European Union, the government announced today (4).
“Currently a quarter of our doctors come from overseas,” health secretary Jeremy Hunt said at the ruling Conservative Party’s annual conference in Birmingham.
“They do a fantastic job and the NHS would fall over without them. When it comes to those that are EU nationals, we’ve been clear we want them to be able to stay post-Brexit,” he said.
“But looking forward, is it right to carry on importing doctors from poorer countries that need them, whilst we turn away bright home graduates desperate to study medicine?”
From September 2018, England will train up to 1,500 more doctors every year, increasing the number of medical school places by up to a quarter, he said.
There is currently a 6,000 cap on numbers of medical students.
“By the end of the next parliament we will make the NHS self-sufficient in doctors.”
He said training a doctor costs more than £200,000. Doctors would be asked to work for the NHS for four years in return.
NHS hospitals currently spend £3.3 billion a year on agency staff.