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Under-doctored areas to get new medical schools

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Five new medical schools are to be created in England as part of the government's expansion of training places.

The schools will open in Sunderland, Lancashire, Lincoln, Canterbury and Chelmsford over the next three years.

Places at existing schools are also being increased as part of the government's commitment to increase student places by 25%.

It will mean by 2020 there will be 1,500 more students each year.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the new schools were being targeted at parts of the country where it "can be hard to recruit and attract new doctors".

Overall 90% of the new places will be outside London.

"It will help us deal with the challenges of having around one million more over 75s in ten years' time," added Mr Hunt.

The expansion was announced two years ago in response to the growing pressures on the frontline, and the ageing population.

But ministers are now setting out the detail of how the increase is being phased in.

Some 630 of the 1,500 new places will start this September, with the rest to follow in 2019 and 2020.

Of the new schools, only the Anglia Ruskin University site in Chelmsford will start taking students this year.

The British Medical Association welcomed the move, but pointed out it would still be another five or six years before the extra doctors were working in the NHS.

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