Bill Wiggin, MP for North Herefordshire, has today welcomed the announcement of a £4 million scheme to boost the number of doctors in rural and coastal areas of England.

Under the new scheme, announced by Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt MP, newly-qualified GPs are to be offered a one-off payment of £20,000 if they start their careers in areas that struggle to attract family doctors. The one-off payment will be offered to 200 GPs from 2018.

Commenting on the announcement, Bill Wiggin MP said:

“I am delighted at the announcement of this scheme, which I hope will provide a real boost to my constituency of North Herefordshire. The £4 million of extra funding for rural GPs is further evidence that the Government are investing in rural areas to ensure vital local services like healthcare are protected.

The town of Kington in my constituency has long struggled to attract resident GPs, and so I have written to the Health Secretary to ask if some of the £20,000 initial payments to newly qualified doctors could be earmarked for Kington Medical Practice, in order to help a young GP set up a life there.

One of my key pledges during the last election was to sustain my campaign for crucial rural services such as education and I very much hope that this scheme can be deployed to help my constituents, many of whom are elderly and struggle to travel the long distances to their next nearest General Practice.”