Shadowing a DoctorJanuary 5, 2012
The BMA is proposing “forgivable loans” as a way to entice more diverse students to study medicine and commit Doctors to the NHS long-term.
The scheme would see some of their student debt paid off with a twofold advantage of securing Doctors to a career within the NHS and also encouraging prospective medics from poorer backgrounds to study medicine without the fear of being crippled by debt at the end of med school.
The most recent findings show that a typical medical degree costs in excess of £50,000 which the BMA believe is the key reason behind statistics that show the four bottom socio-economic groups contribute just 13% of students, despite representing more than half of the UK’s population.
Tom Foley the co-chairman of the BMA’S medical students committee is all for the scheme.
“The thing about forgivable loans is that it creates a link between the student and the NHS.”
“We could say to somebody when they are 16, become a doctor and you won’t have to worry about having a huge loan.
“And we would argue that if you can keep people in the NHS as long as possible, it’s good for everybody.”
The forgivable loans incentive is just one proposal that is gathering support, a Department of Health spokeswoman said: “The department is currently examining the system of support for medical students, as well as students in other healthcare related disciplines. We will make proposals in due course.”
Although any concrete proposals are still a long way off, it’s a refreshing change to hear productive plans are afoot to financially help prospective medical students at long last.
You can read the full BBC report here