General Medical Council Figures Show No Sign of EU Doctor Crisis


Fears that Brexit will trigger a crisis in the NHS due to a lack of EU doctors appear to be unfounded, according to new figures released by the General Medical Council (GMC) today. The stats show that whilst the number of EU doctors granted a licence between January of last year and May of this year fell by 8%, this was more than compensated for by a 17% increase in licences granted to doctors from non-EU countries.

Charlie Massey, Chief Executive of the General Medical Council, told the Health Service Journal:

‘According to our figures, the supply of EEA doctors remains relatively stable but we are of course closely monitoring the situation.

‘Our figures show that although there has been a slight decrease in the numbers of EU doctors applying to join the UK medical register since the referendum, we have also seen fewer EU doctors leaving the register over the same period and an increase in application from doctors from outside the EU.’

Many sectors of the NHS suffer from difficulty recruiting sufficient staff, with figures indicating four million patients were left without GP cover last years due to shortages of family doctors.

Last week the Government tasked the Migration Advisory Committee with examining the impact of Brexit on the UK labour market and coming up with proposals for immigration policy after Britain leaves the union.

‘Overseas doctors, including from the EU make a huge and vital contribution to health services across the UK,’ said Mr Massey.

‘We want to continue attracting good overseas doctors in future, and ensure we do not create any unnecessary barriers that would stop them working here’.

Westmonster Dave is the editor of alt-politics.com

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