News, Culture & Society

Britain should double its number of trainee doctors to meet aging population

Britain should double its number of trainee doctors to meet pressures of rapidly growing elderly population, Royal College of Physicians president says

  • An old-age timebomb means Britain needs to double trainee doctors to 15,000  
  • President of the Royal College of Physicians fears a surge of a third by in 10 years
  • Professor Andrew Goddard warned if the number of doctors fails to increase in , waiting times would grow longer. He stressed: ‘This is not going to go away’

Britain needs to double the number of trainee doctors to 15,000 a year to meet the pressures of an old-age timebomb, a top medical college warned yesterday.

Professor Andrew Goddard, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said demand for NHS services was going up in a ‘straight line’ of 3.5 per cent a year.

He insisted the number of trainees entering medical school needed to increase by 7,500 a year to 15,000 and stressed there was no time to lose.

Professor Andrew Goddard (pictured), president of the Royal College of Physicians, said demand for NHS services was going up in a ‘straight line’ of 3.5 per cent a year

Professor Goddard said by the time these doctors have qualified as GPs or consultants in ten or 12 years’ time, NHS demand will have surged by a third.

His warning came after Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty yesterday highlighted how the UK was facing an ageing crisis, particularly in rural and coastal areas which tend to have fewer doctors.

The Royal College of Physicians, which represents 35,000 doctors, believes that the ‘geographical imbalance’ of doctors and older patients is one of the biggest dilemmas facing the NHS. 

Professor Goddard said: ‘We are staring at a big problem. Currently there is a geographical imbalance in the distribution of healthcare workers and in particular doctors across the UK.

His warning came after Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty (pictured) yesterday highlighted how the UK was facing an ageing crisis, particularly in rural and coastal areas which tend to have fewer doctors

His warning came after Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty (pictured) yesterday highlighted how the UK was facing an ageing crisis, particularly in rural and coastal areas which tend to have fewer doctors

‘If you expand medical schools, you will get those people coming out as GPs or as consultants in ten to 12 years’ time at best. In that time, the demand will have increased by 35 per cent. The population of over-65s in some areas will have increased by 20 to 25 per cent, if not more.

‘The demands on the healthcare service are increasing by 3.5 per cent inextricably – it’s a straight line. The steady increase is mostly in people over the age of 65. Coastal and rural regions are where we know demand is going to increase the most.’

Professor Goddard warned that if the number of doctors failed to increase in line with demand, waiting times would grow longer. He stressed: ‘This is not going to go away.’

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.