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Last Updated: Friday, 5 September, 2003, 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK
Doctors fear recruitment crisis
Dr Sushilkumar Dave
Dr Dave is worried that no one will want his job
A recruitment crisis is looming among Asian GPs as many reach retirement age, experts are warning.

A generation of Asian doctors who started working as general practitioners in the 1960s are due to retire in the next three years.

Dr Sushilkumar Dave, a 56-year-old GP in Leicester, says the pressures on family doctors in the East Midlands are huge.

"In the past 18 months we have seen three doctors retire - and none of them have been replaced.

Busy surgeries

"Some of our neighbouring practices are not taking any more new patients and everybody is coming to us to register - but we can't take them."

Dr Dave, who has 1,600 patients registered at his practice, said he was convinced no one would replace him when he retires because of the pressures of working in the inner city.

We are trying to introduce training programmes which are geared towards making inner-city practices more attractive
Dr Roger Price
GP trainer

There are 17 vacancies for GPs in Leicester, and some surgeries are so busy they are turning away patients.

Almost 60 GPs from South Asia are working in Leicester and Loughborough, but 40 of them are retiring in the next five years.

Dr Suba Rai, a GP in Rainworth, Nottinghamshire, says almost 25% of registered GPs in Nottingham and Mansfield are of South Asian origin.

Almost 50% of these doctors are due to retire in the next two to three years, Dr Rai says.

He is due to retire in a year after 34 years in his practice.

Dr Roger Price, who trains medical graduates to become GPs, says: "We are trying to introduce training programmes which are geared towards making inner-city practices more attractive."

The BMA survey earlier this year found that 3.4% of family doctor posts in England had been vacant for three months or more.

GP shortage 'worsens'
28 Jan 03  |  Health
GP recruitment woes deepen
19 Nov 02  |  Health

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