Funding in Wales is being diverted away from unused training places and being spent instead on funding a ‘surge’ in GPs returning to Wales after working overseas, according to the BMA.
Professor Mark Drakeford, health minister said: ‘This year the Wales Deanery has reported an increased level of interest from individuals returning to Wales.
‘By September, 15 applications had already been received across a number of areas within Wales.
‘As a result, I have given Wales Deanery the flexibility to use funding of up to £150k in 2015-16 and future years from unfilled GP training places to support additional numbers of GP returners to practice in Wales.
‘This is in addition to the five returners places already funded.’
Although anything to help encourage more GPs back into UK general practice is a good thing, NASGP chairman Dr Richard Fieldhouse said: “When a GP has signalled their intent to re-enter UK general practice, we must have much better systems in place to support them. Instead, we’re hearing complaints from retainees in England of high costs, poor pay and huge delays in getting them working again. hardly a good advert for UK general practice. We hope Wales will set itself up as a model for how to administer a popular and successful GP returner model.”