Questions to the Minister for Health 1.6.02


Shortage of neurologists in Wales

Alison Halford:

What action has the Minister taken to combat the shortage of neurologists in Wales? (WAQ18192)

Jane Hutt:

The workforce planning information for all healthcare professionals, which is collected annually, is providing the Welsh Assembly Government with a full picture of the needs of NHS Wales. From the results of this year’s workforce planning process, and in conjunction with locally prepared recruitment and retention strategies, we will be able to produce realistic, planned numbers for the future in all consultant specialisms, including neurology. I expect to be able to set workforce targets this summer.In the meantime, we are training more doctors in Wales and the annual student in-take has been increased from 190 in 1998 to 290 in 2001. By 2004 there will be at least 1,385 medical students enrolled in Wales. More staff are also being trained in the grades leading to consultant. This year there are seven specialist registrars in the field of neurology.
The shortage of neurologists remains a UK-wide problem and the Welsh Assembly Government is working with NHS trusts in Wales to identify long-term vacancies and to explore the potential for recruiting consultants from overseas.




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