UK – NHS seeks £100 million in recruitment agency contracts for foreign general practitioners

31 August 2017

National Health Service England will contract with recruiters for about 600 overseas general practice doctors in 2017-2018 and aim for a total of at least 2,000 doctors over the next three years, according to the agency. That is up from its initial target of 500 by 2020-2021. NHS England called for recruitment firms to join a framework to support the programme, with the publication of a £100 million tender on the Official Journal of the European Union.

NHS England also established a GP International Recruitment Office to organise and run the scaled up programme operation. It will coordinate the recruitment, support for, and relocation of recruited doctors, working closely with regional and local colleagues and partner organisations. The expanded international recruitment scheme will initially focus on doctors in the European Economic Area, whose GP training is recognised in the UK under European law.

The General Practice Forward View action plan calls for delivering 5,000 more GPs and 5,000 more medical professionals working in general practice by 2020.

“Most new GPs will continue to be trained in this country, and general practice will benefit from the 25% increase in medical school places over the coming years,” said Dr. Arvind Madan, GP and NHS England director of primary care. “But the NHS has a proud history of ethically employing international medical professionals, with one in five GPs currently coming from overseas. This scheme will deliver new recruits to help improve services for patients and reduce some of the pressure on hard working GPs across the country.”

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