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Tories promise more doctors

Global News Briefs 13 Nov, 2019 Follow News

Tories promise more doctors

The Conservative party says it will deliver 6,000 more doctors in general practice in England by 2024-25 to increase patient appointments, if they win the UK election on Dec. 12. It is one of many promises on the National Health Service the Tories are making.

They claim they will reach that target through additional doctors working and training in surgeries, international recruitment and better retention.

However, Health Secretary Matt Hancock admitted a previous Tory pledge to recruit 5,000 GPs by 2020 had not been met.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "You can't trust the Tories on the NHS."

He said despite the Conservatives' previous promise of more general practitioners made in 2015, general practice numbers have declined.

Labour has said it wants to expand GP training places from 3,500 to 5,000 a year to ease the burden on GPs. The Conservatives say their plan would see the current tally of 3,538 GPs in training every year rise by about 500 each year over the next four years.

And recruiting more GPs from overseas while improving efforts to retain current staff would lead to a total of 6,000 more doctors than there are now, they claim.

But it is not yet clear how this will be achieved.

In 2015, the then health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, pledged to have 5,000 more GPs working in the NHS in England by 2020. Hancock acknowledged GP numbers had in fact decreased since 2015. "The numbers are now rising but I want them to go much further."

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