Europe

UK to offer cash to recruit Australian doctors amid GP shortage

File Source: AAP

The UK government is to offer Australian doctors a $34,000 incentive to relocate so it can address an alarming shortage of GPs.

Britain's National Health Service (NHS) is to offer cash incentives to Australian GPs in an attempt to fill an alarming shortage of family doctors across the country.

NHS England has declared it'll offer STG18,500 ($A34,000) to Australian-trained doctors who want to live and work in the UK.

Details of the recruitment plan, which aims to have 2000 foreign doctors to be in place by 2020/21, were outlined at an annual conference in Glasgow on Thursday.

 

The initiative mirrors the success of the London Ambulance Service recruiting over 500 paramedics from Australia and New Zealand in the last four years.

GP vacancy rates in the UK are the highest on record with more than a 1,000 doctors leaving the NHS in the last three years citing unmanageable workloads and increasing demands.

Two recruitment agencies have been tasked with finding suitable candidates and the British government has relaxed of a cap on workers from outside the European Economic Area.

This could lead to the application procedure for Australian doctors reduced from a year to three months.

"It's no secret the NHS needs to recruit more GPs, so it makes sense to head to Australia where doctors' skills, training and high levels of care closely match those of their British counterparts," Dominic Hardy, NHS England's director of primary care delivery told the London Evening Standard.

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