National Health Service (NHS) authorities in the UK are planning to cut thousands of trainee jobs for doctors and nurses after the 2010 general election, according to reports.

As part of stringent cuts planned by the Government, health authorities are expected to save £650m ($989m) per year, which accounts for a 15% reduction in the national training budget over the next three years.

More than 500 posts for trainee nurses, midwives and hospital medics will be cut in the East of England by 2012 and hospitals across the South West plan to remove 280 posts for junior hospital doctors, according to the Telegraph.

NHS East of England, one of ten strategic health authorities (SHAs) in England, plans to cut numbers of clinical staff in training by 14%, representing more than 500 jobs, including 392 trainee nurses and midwives and 122 junior doctors, by 2012.

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), labeled the plans “nothing short of a disaster” for English health services.