Hospital Dr News

Four out of ten European doctors working in the NHS are considering leaving

The NHS is at serious risk from European doctors considering leaving the UK following the Brexit Vote.

A BMA survey of EEA (European Economic Area) doctors working in the UK finds that more than four in ten are considering leaving following the EU referendum result.

Around 10,000 doctors who work in the NHS – 6.6% of the UK medical workforce – qualified in the EEA with many more working in public health and academic medicine.

Recruiting from Europe has been vital in dealing with staff shortages in the NHS, enabling them to continue providing a high-quality, reliable and safe service to patients.

The survey of 1193 EEA doctors working in the UK, found that:

  • 42% are considering leaving the UK following the referendum vote, with a further 23% unsure.
  • On a scale of one to 10, European doctors stated they feel substantially less appreciated by the government in light of the EU referendum result. The average rating dropped from seven out of 10 before the referendum, to less than four out of 10 after the referendum.
  • On a scale of one to 10, European doctors stated they feel significantly less committed to working in the NHS. From an average rating of nine out of 10 before the referendum, commitment dropped to an average of six out of 10 after the result.
  • European doctors felt highly appreciated by patients before the EU referendum result, and this continues to be the case.

Since Brexit, the BMA has been calling on the government to ensure long-term stability for health services across the UK. It must also ensure that a future immigration system is flexible enough to enable overseas doctors to continue being employed.

Dr Mark Porter, BMA council chair, said: “While thousands of overseas and EU doctors work across the UK to provide the best possible care for patients, many from the EU are left feeling unwelcome and uncertain about whether they and their families will have the right to live and work in the UK after Brexit.

“At a time when the NHS is already at breaking point and facing crippling staff shortages, this would be a disaster and threaten the delivery of high-quality patient care. But this isn’t just about numbers. The quality of patient care is improved where doctors have diverse experiences and expertise.

“The government must act now to ensure long-term stability across the healthcare system by providing certainty to medical professionals from the EU about their future in the UK. It must also ensure that a future immigration system allows the NHS to continue employing EU and overseas doctors to fill staff shortages in the health service.”

RCP president Professor Jane Dacre, commented: “Diseases know no country borders, and medicine is an international profession, with global cooperation in research, drug development, standards of patient care, and free movement of doctors around the world. This model has served the UK and the NHS well for decades – moving away from that model is a major risk to the success of the NHS.”

Bookmark and Share

Post a Comment

Enter this security code

Submit Comment for Moderation