The greater part of the doctors from Europe working in the UK are thinking about leaving the country as a result of Brexit, a survey by the General Medical Council shows. Charlie Massey, the chief executive of the GMC, told the health select committee that while a survey was “not really prescient of future behavior” the outcomes showed a potential genuine depletion in the workforce. The doctors’ disciplinary body surveyed 2,115 doctors from the European Economic Area (EEA), comprising the EU countries in addition to Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, and found that 1,171 – 55 percent – were considering leaving the UK, with the Brexit vote “a factor for their consideration”.
With EU or EEA nationals representing around 10,200 – or about nine percent – of NHS doctors, as per NHS Digital statistics, if over half of them left the UK, it could highly affect the health service which is as of now enduring staff shortages in some areas. Of the 1,171 doctors who were considering leaving, 596 (45 percent) said they were thinking about a departure in the following two years, and 312 (24 percent), were toying with leaving in the next three to five years.
More than 1,000 of the EU and EEA doctors included remarks enlightening the GMC how they felt regarding Brexit and the impact on their practice. The GMC said two common themes emerged: the emotional impact of Brexit – with many doctors saying they felt undesirable and disheartened – and an uncertainty about their future residence status. Such vulnerability is unlikely to have been helped by Theresa May’s ongoing refusal to confirm the privileges of EU nationals to remain in the UK after Brexit.
Charlie Massey, Chief Executive and Registrar of the General Medical Council, stated: “EEA doctors make a colossal and vital commitment to health services over the UK. It’s profoundly stressing that some are thinking about leaving the UK in the following couple of years. In the event that they leave this would seriously affect patient care and would put whatever remains of the UK medical profession under much more pressure.”
“You have GP practices in this country where simply just the loss of a single doctor could bring the collapsing of the practice. Individuals leaving will enormously affect the arrangement of safe healthcare services in this country.” BMA council seat Mark Porter stated: “It’s extremely concerning that such a large number of doctors are thinking about leaving. “When the NHS close to breaking point and facing crippling staff shortages, this would be a disaster for our health benefit and would potentially undermine the conveyance of high-quality patient care.”
News Info: Independant UK, The Guardian