More Medical Students Please!

In both 2020 and 2021, the Government made provision for more than 10,000 medical students to start their training to become doctors in the UK. This year, however, the number of available places has been lowered to just 7,500. This is despite the British Medical Journal recently publicising that an expected 19,000 GPs will leave the profession within the next five years. 

The main reason for the cap on numbers is a lack of staff available to train students in both the education sector and within placements at already pressured hospitals, general practices and dental centres.   Medical courses are heavily subsidised, yet extremely costly. The typical length of time to qualify in medicine is approximately seven years. These factors mean fixing the problem will not be cheap or quick.

The shortage of doctors and other medical staff is just one factor contributing to what has been described as the biggest ever challenge facing the NHS. A lack of community care, long waiting lists, and even warnings that the cost of energy risks more people becoming sick this winter, all add to the pressure.

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