The British Medical Association (BMA) said Brexit had made the UK a “much less attractive place” to work for qualified doctors and professionals living in the EU. And while the total number and proportion of doctors from outside the UK and EU is rising sharply, the number of doctors coming to work for the NHS in Britain from the bloc is falling.
According to London’s Department of Health, the proportion of EU medics has more than halved since Brexit was completed around two years ago.
From within the EU, the share of professionals joining England’s NHS each year fell from 11 percent in 2015 to 6 percent last year, according to workforce data.
The BMA said: “Without foreign doctors, our health service could no longer function.
“Brexit has made the UK a much less attractive place to work for qualified doctors.”
The BMA said Britain needs more and more doctors from outside the UK and EU to maintain the major health service.
The NHS is now looking to countries such as India, Pakistan and the Philippines for trained medical professionals.
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International doctors accounted for 34 percent of the recruitment in 2021, up from 18 percent in 2014, according to the BBC.
But in the same period, the workforce of doctors from the UK declined to 58 per cent from 69 per cent.
While UK nurses’ share of recruitment decreased from 74 percent in 2015 to 61 percent last year.
International committee chair, Kitty Mohan, said the NHS has become “increasingly dependent on international recruitment”.
She said: “The NHS has grown heavily reliant on doctors from overseas who have and continue to make an enormous contribution to our health service.
“This was evidenced during the pandemic as international doctors were front and centre of the battle on the NHS frontline – with a disproportionate number sadly losing their lives to the virus.”
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg