There are still not enough medics – even with a 25% increase

The BBC news reports 9th August 2017: Medical school places to increase next year

Image result for med student cartoon

but this will still not be enough, and we need a realistic approach. Given that 80% on medical students are undergraduate appointments, and 80% are women, we need at least a 250% increase in medical student intake. If we change to graduate entry a 200% increase might be enough. Students can be trained in localities using the internet. Only intermittent assessments and exams need to be centralised, (if they are practical) but the theory exams can be “on line” from local driving test centres. The 2 in 11 successful applicants to medical school needs to change to 5 in 11 immediately, and to 10 in 11 if we are to accept the current drop out rate and gender bias. It is good news, but limited and unimaginative.

An extra 500 medical school places in England have been confirmed for next year by the government.

The Department of Health announced in October it planned to add up to 1,500 more places each year – a boost of 25% on current student doctor numbers – and says it will hit that target by 2020.

It is part of a plan to use UK-trained doctors to ease NHS staffing pressures.

But the British Medical Association says the plan will not address the immediate shortage of medics.

Training to become a doctor takes at least five years and currently about 6,000 graduate each year.

Diversity drive

The government wants many of the new training places to go to students from disadvantaged backgrounds to improve diversity in the medical profession…..

….Prof Wendy Reid, from Health Education England, said the extra places would help the NHS meet the diverse healthcare needs of patients “up and down the country”.
Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “Ministers have repeatedly announced plans to increase doctors’ training levels and in many key medical specialities they are failing to fill the places already on offer.
“The government need to get a grip and put in place a long-term workforce plan backed up with significant new investment for the number of staff needed to deliver services safely.”

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This entry was posted in Good News, Rationing, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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