A recruitment drive has been launched to encourage more junior doctors to consider a career in general practice. An additional 100 new GP training places in Scotland have been created.
A £20,000 incentive for trainees will be provided for those who choose to take up one of the 37 posts in hard to fill locations, such as remote areas and islands.
The SNP Government and NHS Education Scotland aim to highlight the benefits of living and working as a GP in Scotland through a series of adverts and a social media campaign.
These 100 new places bring the total number of GP specialist training posts to 439, following a recruitment round earlier in the year.
Kenneth Gibson said:
"General practice is the heart of our NHS, and is becoming ever more important as we build the community health service of the future.
“That is why the SNP Government is investing to recruit more junior doctors into GP training posts.
“However, some parts of the country have challenges recruiting because of their geographical location, including Arran. Therefore a financial incentive is being introduced to fill these vital training places.
“The SNP Government is also investing in the future of the profession, developing new ways of working with multi-disciplinary teams and refocusing the role of the GP as the expert medical generalist within our community health service.
"The bureaucratic system of GP payments, QOF has been abolished and a new Scottish GP contract will support our wider efforts to make primary care services fit for the future.”
Scotland’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Gregor Smith, who previously practiced as a GP, added:
“Working in general practice can provide a wide and varied career one in which every day is different as you never know what will come through the door next.
“Excellent training opportunities are available in Scotland, whether that is working in inner city communities or with remote and rural populations, all within a flexible and supportive training environment.
“General practice, particularly, is unique in being able to build that special relationship with patients which can potentially span decades and generations. It’s flexibility can allow the pursuit of both professional and personal interests further.
“It is a career I would highly recommend to junior doctors."
The application window opens today, and closes on 25 August. They are being advertised by NHS Education Scotland on behalf of Scottish health boards.