Only 37 doctors have taken up posts following a drive to recruit 100 new GPs in Scotland, it has been revealed.
The Scottish Government advertised the extra positions in August amid growing concerns about staffing shortages in general practice, with a £20,000 incentive offered for trainees taking up 37 posts in remote and rural areas.
The Herald newspaper reported that of the 37 posts filled, only 15 were based in one of the bursary areas.
The new places took the total number of GP specialist training posts advertised this year to 439 following a recruitment round earlier in the year.
Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “We are committed to increasing GP numbers as we transform our local health services to better-meet the needs of communities across Scotland.
“This year, a total of 276 new trainee GPs took up a training post in Scotland so far - a welcome 15 per cent increase on 2015. Of the 1,082 total GP training posts that we have in Scotland, over 90 per cent of those are filled.
“In the most recent recruitment round, 15 trainee GPs were recruited to posts that attracted the Scottish Government-funded bursary of £20,000 - providing welcome evidence that financial incentives can help in efforts to attract trainees to those hard-to-fill areas in Scotland and each individual will make a welcome contribution to the GP workforce.
“NHS Education Scotland runs several recruitment rounds a year and the next round of recruitment will begin very shortly.”