Scotland

'Golden hello' offered to some new GPs in Scotland

Arran
Image caption An incentive will be offered to junior doctors that take up hard to fill posts in places like Arran

The Scottish government is hoping to encourage more junior doctors to consider a career in general practice.

One hundred new GP training places are being advertised, with a £20,000 incentive for some who choose to take up hard to fill posts.

Some medical bodies are concerned Scotland is facing a GP crisis, with certain areas restricting patient lists because they are reaching capacity.

The Scottish government said it was refocusing the role of GPs.

The new scheme will offer a one-off bursary of £20,000 to trainees who commit to being trained in posts that have not been filled recently. Many of these are in isolated rural communities.

The posts qualifying for the incentive include placements based in Arran, Inverness, Fort William and Oban. Others are in Dumfries and Galloway, Angus, Aberdeenshire, Glasgow and Lanarkshire.

NHS Dumfries and Galloway's Medical Director, Angus Cameron, told BBC Scotland: "This is excellent news. We believe we have superb training available in Dumfries and Galloway.

"We really welcome the extra incentive to help encourage doctors to choose a career in rural general practice starting here."

Health Secretary Shona Robison said general practice was at the "heart" of the NHS.

"We are also investing in the future of the profession - developing new ways of working with multi-disciplinary teams and refocusing the role of the GP as the expert medical generalist within our community health service," she said.

"We've also abolished the bureaucratic system of GP payments, QOF, and are working on a new Scottish GP contract to support our wider efforts to make primary care services fit for the future."

'Fantastic career'

The Scottish government said the 100 new places brought the total number of GP specialist training posts advertised this year to 439.

Scotland's Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Gregor Smith, who previously practised as a GP, said: "Working in general practice can give you a wide and varied career - one in which every day is different and you never know what will come through the door next.

"There are some fantastic opportunities for training available in Scotland - whether that is working in inner city communities or with remote and rural populations, all within a flexible and supportive training environment."

He added: "It is a fantastic career and one which I would highly recommend to junior doctors."

The application window opens on 9 August, and closes on 25 August.

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