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Increasing Costs Discouraging GPs from Returning to Work

The leaders of three charities that support GPs have written a letter to the national medical director of NHS England, Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, calling for action to address the financial problem on GPs returning to work.

In the letter to Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, the leaders of the Royal Medical Foundation, Royal Medical Benevolent Fund and Cameron Fund said the price of retraining for GPs is part of the reason why the target of 5,000 more GPs by 2020 “appears impossible”.

The leaders said they had received numbers of request from medical professionals about the retraining expenses of entering general practice after a period out of the workforce.

In addition, they said mutual insurers are not accepting returning GPs. Instead, GPs have to take out insurance with commercial companies, which cost up to £25,000 per year.

The letter concluded that NHS England should take the responsibilities to assist retraining doctors meet indemnity costs. The charities urged NHS England to consider all the “urgent and important” issue.

Chair of Royal College of General Practice, Dr Maureen Baker said she completely agreed that the re-entry procedure for GPs was bureaucratic and too slow. She expected an official review of the scheme would address some of the concern in coming years.

A spokesman for NHS England said that the increasing indemnity costs are having a serious effect on GPs returning to work. It is also stifling innovation in primary care delivery.

NHS England is committed to help resolve this issue and the General Practice Forward View is just a part of the work NHS is doing with their partners to further support the primary care workforce.

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