Jeremy Hunt is to pledge that the NHS in England will be “self sufficient” in doctors after Britain leaves the European Union as he sets out a package of measures aimed at reducing its reliance on foreign-trained medics.
The health secretary will use his speech to the Conservative party conference on Tuesday to promise that medical schools in the UK will be allowed to offer up to 1,500 extra training places a year, and released figures that said that one in fourNHS doctors have been trained abroad.
Hunt will stress that foreign-trained doctors do a “fantastic job”, and say that “we want EU nationals who are already here to be able to stay post-Brexit” before adding: “Is it right to import doctors from poorer countries that need them while turning away bright home graduates desperate to study medicine?”
He wants NHS England to reach the target in 2025. “Of course it will take a number of years before those doctors qualify, but by the end of the next parliament we will make the NHS self-sufficient in doctors,” Hunt is expected to say.It takes six years for a doctor to become qualified. So, assuming all those extra places are filled with effect from 2017, there might be an extra 1500 junior doctors by 2023. But it will take another ten years before they are ready to replace the consultants who will be retiring during that period. Self sufficiency is a target for the distant future ...