As the NHS launches a £100m drive to recruit foreign GPs, it’s hard to know what to think. Perhaps we should feel hopeful that a seemingly positive step has been taken to help with the current GP crisis in the UK. Maybe it will instil some hope in the smiling Jeremy Hunt who has appeared, of late, to be far busier arguing with one of the world’s most respected scientific minds than doing what we are desperate for him to do – fix the NHS.
Or perhaps, conversely, the latest step by the NHS to try to plug one of its many gaps serves to remind us of exactly how dire the situation is. So dire that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to recruit GPs to the thankless, underfunded task they face.
The reality of the situation is all too apparent to us at the bottom of the pile. Recently I went to see my own GP. A rare visit, and an appointment I had booked several weeks previously. Of course, I could have got one sooner but only if I called up at 8am each morning declaring I needed to see a doctor urgently. Even when you do call at 8am for an “emergency” appointment, you are often met with a cross-examination from a disgruntled receptionist, who is not happy to discuss available appointment times unless satisfied that you are, in fact, on death’s door. It is like something out of a Peter Kay sketch.
Full story in The Independent, 3 September 2017