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GP crisis worsens as number working in Wales reaches lowest since 2013

New figures published in an annual report by the Welsh Government have shown that the number of registered GPs working in Wales is at its lowest since 2013.

There are currently 1,926 GPs working in Wales – 83 fewer than in 2016. In the same period, the number of GP locums has risen by 10.2%.

Worryingly, of the 212 GP practitioners leaving the workforce between 2016 and 2017, just over half re-joined as a locum.

Commenting on the report, Shadow Health Secretary – Angela Burns – said that GPs had been warning of a recruitment crisis for years.

She said:

“The Welsh Labour Government’s failure to heed warnings from organisations like the BMA has led to a serious crisis in GP recruitment and retention.

“Not only are they working under considerable pressure, they have also been burdened with the increasing cost of medical insurance.

“GPs have been warning of a crisis for years, and the issue of reforming their contracts continues to cast a long shadow over the profession.

“These new figures further emphasise the need for systemic, long-term planning of the Welsh NHS, including action to improve recruitment and retention initiatives for frontline staff.”

“The Health Secretary continues to champion the ‘Train. Work. Live’ campaign, but it’s fast becoming clear that his department is not only failing to recruit more GPs – it’s failing to support those already working here in Wales.”