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Jeremy Hunt to pledge £20,000 'golden hello' for rural GPs

From BBC - October 11, 2017

Newly-qualified GPs are to be offered a one-off payment of 20,000 if they start their careers in areas that struggle to attract family doctors

The 4m scheme, to be announced by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, aims to boost the numbers of doctors in rural and coastal areas of England.

Mr Hunt will also pledge to "secure general practice for the future".

The Royal College of GPs backed the plan, which says there is a "serious shortage" of family doctors.

The one-off payment will be offered to 200 GPs from 2018.

As of September 2016, there were 41,985 GPs in England.

Mr Hunt is due to speak at the Royal College of GPs' annual conference in Liverpool, where he will offer something for those already in the profession too, by announcing plans for flexible working for older doctors - to encourage them to put off retirement.

He will also confirm plans for an overseas recruitment office which will aim to attract GPs from countries outside Europe to work in England.

"By introducing targeted support for vulnerable areas and tackling head-on critical issues such as higher indemnity fees and the recruitment and retention of more doctors, we can strengthen and secure general practice for the future," the health secretary will say.

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