Lord Patel of Bradford debates involving the Department of Health and Social Care during the 2019 Parliament

General Practitioners: Shortage

Lord Patel of Bradford Excerpts
Tuesday 12th July 2022

(1 year, 11 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Kamall Portrait Lord Kamall (Con)
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As part of the joint NHS England and NHS Improvement and DHSC bureaucracy review—there is such a thing—we have been working across government to reduce unnecessary bureaucratic burdens. There have been a number of key work streams, including a new appraisal process and digitisation of the signing of some notes, along with work to reform who can provide medical evidence and certificates and who can provide notes—nurses, occupational therapists, pharmacists and others. We are continuing to look through the process to engage with GPs to see how we can remove more such administrative burdens.

Lord Patel of Bradford Portrait Lord Patel of Bradford (Non-Afl)
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My Lords, looking at wider health workforce issues, I understand that we need another 2,000 radiologists in the next five years and that it is highly unlikely that we will be able to produce them. That is the pessimistic note. On an optimistic note, I heard recently that Apollo, the large healthcare provider in India, in partnership with the royal college and the GMC, has been training up 150 high-quality radiologists every year, some of whom are coming to this country. Does the Minister approve of such schemes, and is the department doing more work in places such as India where we can recruit high-quality medical staff?

Lord Kamall Portrait Lord Kamall (Con)
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I thank the noble Lord for his question, but also pay tribute to his commitment to tackling racism in our society.

We know that there are countries that train more people than they have places for in their country. They do that, first, to help those people get a better life elsewhere, but also because remittances are much better than foreign aid for many of those countries. I frequently mention the fact that it was immigrants from the Commonwealth who saved public services in this country after the war. We should remember that and continue to encourage people from the Commonwealth to come to this country. Sadly, for some reason, noble Lords quite often do not want them and make up all sorts of excuses for trying to block non-white people from outside Europe.