The pledge meets calls from the RCGP for 8,000 new GPs by 2020 to meet rising demand on the health service. Labour has also promised 8,000 new GPs, while the Conservative and Liberal Democrat government pledges an increase of 5,000.
Both coalition parties have said they are signed up to that number despite neither including the promise in their manifesto. GPs have raised questions about where the parties plan to find the new recruits. Some areas of the country are struggling to fill GP training places.
Speaking at the manifesto launch party leader Nigel Farage said its proposals to slash immigration would ‘take huge pressures off of .. our GPs’.
NHS under strain
The party, he said, was ‘fully committed to the founding principles of the NHS. The UK’s ‘expanding population’, he said, had ‘put intolerable strain on our health service’.
The party said its plans were ‘fully costed’.
Ukip health policy pledges:
- Inject an additional £3bn a year into the NHS in England by the end of the parliament and ensure the money is spent on frontline patient care
- Train and employ 8,000 GPs to meet the current shortfall
- 1,000 of the new doctors deployed to ensure a GP in every A&E, seven days a week
- Waive university tuition fees for new medical students who work in Britain for five years after qualifying
- Fund the cost of re-training for GPs who wish to return to practice
- Reduce the burden of data collection, target chasing, revalidation and appraisal work that interferes with the care GPs can give to patients
- Insist migrants and visitors who come to Britain have approved medical insurance
- End the use of PFI
- Exclude the NHS from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership deal
Ukip health spokeswoman Louise Bours MEP said: ‘Ukip has a clear vision for 21st century healthcare: an efficient, affordable, world-class, national health service, free at the point of delivery and in time of need. The people of Britain are rightly proud of the NHS and we will invest £12bn over the next five years to keep it working for them.’