One in 10 doctors have European colleagues who have left the UK because of Brexit, says BMA
Authors: Abi Rimmer
Publication date: 29 Jun 2017
More than one in 10 doctors have European colleagues who have left the UK as a result of Brexit, a survey conducted by the BMA has found.
The BMA sent a survey to 1000 members and had 422 responses (a response rate of 42%).
The survey found that 11% of respondents said that they had colleagues who had left the UK because of Brexit, and 14% reported noticing a reduction in non-UK applicants for posts in their departments.
The findings come after delegates at the BMA’s annual representative meeting in Bournemouth on 29 June called on the association to lobby the government to uphold the right of residence to be granted to doctors and medical academic staff from the EU who are working in the UK.
Doctors at the conference voted in favour of a motion which also called on the BMA to lobby the government to uphold the existing mutual recognition of professional qualifications, the common framework for training and standards, and the alert system for raising fitness to practice concerns, as part of Brexit negotiations.
Commenting on the survey, Mark Porter, BMA council chair, said that the figures highlighted the risk that Brexit posed to healthcare and medical research across the UK.
“If even close to one in 10 European doctors leave it will pose a huge problem for the NHS workforce, and will inevitably impact the care that we are able to provide for our patients,” Porter said.
“It won’t be a case of losing doctors from Europe and replacing them with British doctors —it takes at least 10 years to train a doctor, and poor workforce planning by the government means we simply don’t have enough for the number of patients in need.”
He added, “The government must act now to ensure long term stability by providing certainty, as quickly as possible, to all medical professionals from the EU about their future in the UK.”
The motion also called on the association to lobby the UK government to uphold the right of residence to be granted to UK doctors and medical academic staff working in EU states, and uphold the right of medical students from the EU currently enrolled in UK medical schools to continue to live in the UK and work and train in the NHS after qualification.
Abi Rimmer BMJ Careers