Photo: Cambrian News

Efforts to increase the number of GP training places in Wales could help make it easier to attract new GPs to mid Wales, according to the chair of Hywel Dda Community Health Council.

Cambrian News reported “Welsh Government Health Minister Vaughan Gething has said he wants to see the number of GP training places increased by almost 18 per cent after a target of filling 136 training places this year was exceeded with 155 places already filled.

Problems with recruitment of GPs across Wales has seen warnings about the future sustainability of GP surgeries, with some surgeries already closing across mid Wales.

Cllr Elizabeth Evans, the chair of the Ceredigion committee of Hywel Dda Community Health Council, welcomed the announcement.

She said: “GP services across Wales have been extremely fragile for some time now and the warnings have been made very clear by GP representative bodies for some years.

“We have seen two surgeries in the south of Ceredigion hand back their contracts, with Hywel Dda having to accommodate thousands of patients in other surgeries.

“Many GPs in Ceredigion are of retirement age and it is vital that there is resilience built in to any proposals to incentivise GP training and recruitment going forward.

“The shortage of GPs in Wales is of course felt most acutely in rural areas like Ceredigion where patients have further to travel.

“We now have to wait and see if the Minister’s incentive filters through to Ceredigion and the CHC will continue to monitor the patient experience.

“Hywel Dda have also been proactive in trying to tackle this issue by working with Swansea University Medical School to attract GPs to Ceredigion and the CHC welcomes this initiative.”

Mr Gething will now ask Health Education and Improvement Wales to review the number of training places in Wales ahead of an increase in the target of GP training places from 136 to 160 this autumn” here.