The NHS is being forced to pay up to £100 million to recruit GPs from abroad in order to fill ever-increasing staffing gaps.
Between 2,000 and 3,000 NHS Doctors are to be hired from overseas to fill the ever increasing number of medical staffing gaps in NHS hospitals and GP surgeries. Initially, it had been planned that only 500 doctors would be recruited but this has since increased.
Despite ongoing promises from Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, to increase medical staffing numbers many fear increasing workloads and a dwindling workforce are putting the NHS under increasing pressure.
The primary aim of the drive is to increase the number of GPs by 5,000 by 2020 but will also help to fill gaps in secondary care.
Dr Arvind Madan, GP and NHS England Director of Primary Care, said;
"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.
"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."
According to a contract notice posted by NHS England, the value of the 3-year contract is around £100 million, NHS England could also extend it for a maximum of a year.