Overseas doctors are to be brought across Scarborough and Ryedale as part of a £2million drive to fill a “gap” in the number of GPs in the region.
Across the country, more than a third of GPs are set to retire in the next five years, and many younger doctors are turning to locum posts rather than take up traditional practice.
Now, amid concerns over workloads and a dwindling workforce, funding of has been set aside for parts of Yorkshire - including Scarborough, Hull and East Riding - to recruit GPs from overseas over the next three years.
Simon Cox, NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group Chief Officer, said: “Like many other parts of the country, there is a shortage of GPs across Scarborough and Ryedale.
"While the evidence shows patients are generally very satisfied with the service they receive from their local GP practice, we know the wait for a routine appointment can sometimes be a source of frustration.
“The International GP Recruitment Programme should go some way towards easing the current pressures in local health provision and is to be welcomed.”
NHS England says that while GP training places are increasing and a number of GPs are returning, many practices in the region still face recruitment issues.
NHS England will commission recruitment providers to identify potential overseas doctors and will support them through the recruitment process.
Recruits will need to pass stringent tests, including an industry-standard English language test.
Geoff Day, Head of Primary Care Commissioning at NHS England (North Yorkshire and the Humber) said: “This is part of a number of initiatives we are supporting to build capacity and resilience into primary care, such as recruiting more clinical pharmacists to be based in GP practices, and developing the GP Career Plus scheme encouraging GPs to continue in practice.”