Job crisis is 'bigger threat' than private firms

GPs' failure to create jobs for younger doctors could undermine general practice, GPC chairman warns.

GPs' failure to make room for their younger colleagues is a bigger threat to general practice than polyclinics or privatisation, Dr Laurence Buckman has warned.

Speaking at last week's Londonwide LMC conference, the GPC chairman described the jobs crisis as 'the cancer in our midst', and urged his colleagues to create posts for younger GPs.

'I know it's a dreadful message at a time of economic difficulty, that you should expand your practice,' he said.

'But expansion is improving services for patients - and if we don't do something, this is going to bite us very hard on the bum.'

Dr Buckman said that, despite 'apocalyptic' claims to the contrary, he did not expect the entire profession to be taken over by American corporations or corralled into polyclinics.

But the failure to create jobs could genuinely undermine general practice, by pushing younger GPs to emigrate or enter private practice, he said.

Dr Buckman declined to blame the government. 'This is our fault,' he said. 'We have failed them and we must do something to get them into practice.'

Most younger doctors contacted by GP welcomed Dr Buckman's comments. But others were more critical of the DoH, laying the blame on poor workforce planning.

'A conspiracy theorist might claim that doctors are being stockpiled, rather like coal in the 1980s, so that the profession's power is reduced,' said Dr Michael Jenkins, a locum in Bristol.

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the King's Fund, also speaking at the LMCs conference, said: 'I don't think medical school is a guarantee of a job for life any more.'

What do GP 35 think?

"Many GPs I know locally are struggling and others have been enticed abroad. Established GPs need to take note and look at how the profession is self-destructing." - Dr Osman Bhatti, Newham, London

"The profession and the government need to provide incentives for practices to offer GPs long-term contracts so they can participate fully in the life of the surgery." - Dr Grace Adedapo, Battersea, London

"Many of us chose general practice because of the career stability. If the profession fails me now, I will not accept the blame when I cave in and work for Tesco or Boots." - Dr Kamal Sidhu, Newcastle.

What is GP 35? Click here to find out

Comment below and tell us what you think

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Woman holding face in pain

Should GPs treat patients presenting with dental problems?

The MDU's Dr Kathryn Leask considers what GPs should do if a patient presents with...

Conservative Party leadership candidate and foreign secretary Liz Truss

Liz Truss vows to resolve GP pension tax crisis if she becomes prime minister

Liz Truss has affirmed her commitment to resolving the GP pensions crisis but has...

Baby receiving a vaccine in their thigh

JCVI advises changes to routine childhood and HPV immunisation schedules

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has recommended a change...

GP consultation

General practice delivering 'up to double the appointments it is paid for'

General practice in England may be delivering as many as double the number of appointments...

Sign outside BMA House

GP suicide sparks calls for measures to protect doctors from spiralling workloads

The government and policymakers must do more to safeguard doctors and NHS staff from...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: Living with long COVID

In August we’re bringing you some of the best interviews from series one of the podcast....