Montgomeryshire MS calls for simplification of registration for doctors and dentists
Russell George has called on the First Minister of Wales to remove barriers that currently discourage doctors and dentists that qualify in England to move to and practice in Wales.
There are separate NHS performers lists in England and Wales, but qualifying in one does not automatically mean medics can practice in both. To be recognised across the two nations requires a separate process, with more bureaucracy and cost.
Given the aging population of health professionals in Mid Wales, and the difficulty in attracting them to the region, Mr George wanted to know how the Welsh Government will end this issue which discourages medics who may have trained in England, to come and live and work in Wales.
Mark Drakeford said he didn’t agree that there should be a single performers list stating:
“You need to know, if a GP is practising in Wales, that they understand the way in which the policy landscape operates in Wales, the different way in which services are deployed on the ground. It's not good enough simply to say, because you are okay to practise on one side of the border, you can just automatically assume that you are fit to practise somewhere where the landscape is very different.”
He added: ”What I believe, though, is that the transferability should be made as specific and easy as possible. There should be no artificial barriers to people being able to practise in England and Wales.”
However, nothing was outlined in order to rectify the situation.
Commenting after, Russell George MS said:
“We have a real problem here in Mid Wales with recruiting medical professionals to practise in our GP and dental surgeries as well as our community hospitals, so this administrative blockage that discourages talented medics practicing here in infuriating.
“Whilst I appreciate the First Minister’s reservations, I found that he only paid lip service to ending this barrier that keeps doctors and dentists in England and am disappointed that he did not outline any action the Welsh Government was willing to take to end an obvious issue.
“This is in sharp contrast to the welcome announcement from the Chancellor’s Budget which listened to the medical profession and has made its pension rules more flexible, meaning doctors will now be incentivised to stay in work longer rather than retire early.
“I hope ministers in Cardiff Bay can try to emulate those in Westminster and deliver change that actually solve an issue we can all see is present so we can get better outcomes for both patients and professionals.”