GP trainees offered paid year in South Africa

A new incentive scheme from Health Education England (HEE) is offering over 100 prospective GP trainees the chance to take a paid year of work experience in South Africa as part of their training.

Cape Town (Photo: iStock)
Cape Town (Photo: iStock)

The global health fellowship (GHF) GP training scheme was introduced this recruitment round, which advertises for training posts commencing in February 2017.

The GP National Recruitment Office (GPNRO) website shows there are 133 places available on the GHF scheme, alongside 479 normal training posts in England.

GPonline previously reported that there were only around 300 vacancies left on offer in England, but this data excluded the GHF places and data for the Yorkshire and the Humber deanery, which was unavailable at the time but has 113 places remaining.

There are also 101 places being advertised in Scotland, 44 in Wales and six in Northern Ireland.

Trainees on the GHF programme will have their training extended by 12 months up to four years total.

GP trainee posts

The extra year – which runs between their second (ST2) and third year (ST3) of GP training – will be spent in rural South Africa.

While in Africa, trainees will rotate through various hospital posts including those in obstetrics, paediatrics and emergency medicine. The South African government will fund a salary ‘broadly equivalent’ to an NHS salary during the year.

Trainees will be expected to keep a ‘reflective diary’ and complete a simple project during their placement year, according to HEE.

The scheme is one of nine initiatives it announced earlier this year designed to incentivise GP careers and make it ‘easier than ever’ to apply for GP posts.

HEE said: ‘Under the scheme, GP training programme duration will be extended by 12 months, unless applicants are also attending the Diploma in Tropical Medicine course, when it will be extended by 15 months.

‘The scheme is run through Africa Health Placements and [trainees] will be paid broadly equivalent to an NHS salary. Successful Global Health candidates will rotate through bespoke hospital posts, such as obstetrics & gynaecology, paediatrics and emergency medicine.

‘All successfully appointed candidates will return to a guaranteed ST3 post to complete GP training.’

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