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But recent figures show they are quitting at a rate of 400 a month, with many opting to work abroad, leaving to work in the private sector or retiring in their 50s.An army of physician associates, dubbed 'doctors on the cheap' because they don't have medical degrees, are also being trained to prop up the cash-strapped NHS.NHS England said: 'GP practices are right to carefully test technologies that can improve free NHS services for patients while also freeing staff time.'Ali Parsa, the founder of Babylon, believes that using artificial intelligence symptom checking devices could also save the NHS time and money.The firm says its testing shows that only around a fifth of health issues raised by patients require a full consultation with a doctor present.
Prescriptions will be delivered to a pharmacy of choice, allowing for the patient to pick up from the most convenient location.
It could be a healthcare assistant who takes time to comfort a distressed patient in the lonely hours of the night.
Or a GP who won't leave a stone unturned to provide the best treatment.
Mobasher Butt of Babylon told The Times: 'We do everything from grocery shopping to our banking online yet when it comes to our health, it can still take weeks to see a doctor and often means taking time off work.
'With the NHS making use of this technology, we can put patients in front of a GP within minutes on their phone.'The Royal College of GPs has warned that despite the time-saving benefits the move could lead to a shortage of family doctors by luring them away from practices.
Once patients register, the practice will be able to access their medical records.