Mandatory NHS service proposed

A CONSULTATION from the Department of Health is proposing a requirement for newly trained doctors in England to work a minimum term of possibly over five years in the NHS.

Doctors choosing to leave the NHS before that term to work for a different organisation or overseas could be required to repay the "recoverable elements" of funding invested in their education. It currently costs £230,000 to train a doctor in England and the proposals are to ensure that tax payers "obtain a return on this investment".

The consultation also includes a proposal to expand medical education by training up to 1,500 extra doctors each year in England. Currently more than 6,000 university training places are available each year and the plan is to increase this each year from September 2018.

Medical schools that commit to supporting general practice and offering more GP placements would be prioritised to receive a greater allocation of these 1,500 places.

Professor Ian Cumming, Chief Executive of Health Education England, said that the proposals offer 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.

"These extra places also give us the opportunity, with partners across health and education, to respond to NHS need, providing doctors in the specialties and places that patients need long into the future."