In a recent survey conducted by the British Medical Association, it was discovered that the NHS may suffer from a severe staff shortage as thousands of doctors choose to live in Europe than Britain. Statistics suggest that nearly 12,000 doctors who got their degrees from the European countries may quit the UK due to the feelings of low belongingness post the Brexit vote.
Two in every five doctors that were trained in the European Economic Area countries considers leaving Britain for Europe as they feel less welcomed. This step by the EEA doctors could be disastrous for the NHS, which already suffers from the lack of medical staff.
The BMA conducted a survey of 1,193 EEA doctors that are working in UK hospitals. 42% (500) of them agreed to leave the UK when questioned about their choice of being in the UK or Europe. 26% (309) said they would never leave the UK as opposed to 23% (278) who were still not clear about their own choice while 106 doctors did not reply to the question.
BMA authorities showed their concern about the big percentage of doctors who want to leave the UK. Dr Mark Porter, the BMA’s council chair stated that “These are the people who staff our hospitals and GP surgeries, look after vulnerable patients in the community, and conduct vital medical research to help save lives. Many have dedicated years of service to healthcare in the UK, so it’s extremely concerning that so many are considering leaving.”
He continued further by saying that “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.”
According to the statistics by the General Medical Council, out of the 280,932 doctors listed in the medical register, 177,912 (63%) fall in the category of those who are trained in the UK while 30,733 (11%) belonged to the EEA countries and 72,287 (26%) belongs to other parts of the world.
Dr Mark Porter put words to the dilemma of doctors that are not from the UK by saying that “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.” The main reason is that the European doctors feel that the UK government may consider them second fiddle to the UK doctors especially, after Brexit.
In addition, their commitment towards their duty has reduced and is reflected in their average rating scores, which slip from nine out of ten to six out of ten after the Brexit vote. Many doctors have expressed their disappointment regarding the lack of belongingness in the UK than what it was before the referendum.
Speaking on the matter A Department of Health spokesman said: “As the government has repeatedly made clear, overseas workers form a crucial part of our NHS and we value their contribution immensely. We want to see the outstanding work of doctors and nurses who are already trained overseas continue, but at the same time we have been very clear that we want to give more domestic students the chance to be doctors, given the enduring popularity of this as a career.”
To conclude, if the EEA doctors leave the UK then the NHS could be in big trouble. Already there is a shortage of staff and if the doctors migrate to the EU nations, then the condition would be worse. As there would be nobody to monitor the patients, the impact of doctors leaving the UK will hamper the health care sector like never before.
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