Monday, 20 April 2015


Several of our health services have struggled because of staff pressures, there are simply not enough doctors to deliver services safely. This situation is mirrored in the primary care sector, where up to 40% of our GP’s are close to retirement in some areas and because of this GP services are beginning to come under pressure. Problems with recruiting the next generation of GP’s means that existing doctors are increasingly overworked and increasingly under pressure. We need to start to address these issues and attract more doctors in GP and hospital practice. There is no one single magic solution to the recruitment crisis; Plaid has proposed a combination of policies that will attract 1000 extra doctors. These include financial incentives including a bond scheme to pay off student loans in exchange for guaranteed service – this has been used very successfully in New Zealand. A combination of direct salaries to attract GP’s to those areas where it is difficult to recruit and making use of the EU to fill short term gaps – something that too many of our Local Health Boards (LHBs) have failed to use – so far on three of our LHB have half-heartedly tried to recruit doctors from the EU. These are short term solutions, along with this we need long term investment in our medical schools to create home grown doctors. Currently some 95% of doctors who complete their training in Wales choose to stay in Wales. It is also important that training rotas should give trainee doctors a much wider experience, particularly in those areas where it is hard to recruit – this is particularly crucial when it comes to recruiting GP’s.

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