The NHS is set to be hit by a "workforce crisis" in the near future, as senior doctors retire early and medicine graduates opt against becoming GPs.
There are fears the problem will be exacerbated as the UK struggles to cope with an ageing population.
A survey conducted by Pulse magazine discovered that the GP vacancy rate has risen to 7.9 per cent since its previous investigation in 2011. At that time, the official rate according to the NHS was 2.1 per cent.
Furthermore, surgeries are spending up to 20 per cent more on locums than two years ago because they cannot find permanent staff to fill the posts.
Professor Bill Irish, chair of the GP National Recruitment Office, stated: “Every piece of workforce data out there shows we are under-recruiting to general practice and workload is rapidly becoming more and more unsustainable so there is absolutely a workforce crisis.”
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