4000 doctors missing: British health service suffers from Brexit consequences

The British health system has been in crisis for years.

4000 doctors missing: British health service suffers from Brexit consequences

The British health system has been in crisis for years. However, Brexit is said to have made the situation even worse. According to a recent study, too few doctors from European countries will settle in Great Britain in 2021. Now around 4000 doctors are missing in important areas.

According to a recent study, Brexit has exacerbated the shortage of doctors in Great Britain. According to this, around 4,000 doctors from EU countries are missing in the British healthcare system in the most important specialist areas. The "increase in staff from the EU" and the countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) has "slowed down" and has "fallen below the forecast increase," according to the study commissioned by the "Guardian" by the Nuffield Trust think tank .

Accordingly, the British healthcare system was dependent on doctors from the EU, especially before Brexit. This primarily affected the departments of anaesthesia, paediatrics, cardiac surgery and psychiatry. According to the study, more than 41,000 doctors from the EU or the EFTA countries Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein would have had to settle in Great Britain in 2021 to compensate for this shortage of staff - but at least 4,000 more.

The researchers see the "obvious reason for the trend reversal in 2015 and 2016" in the outcome of the Brexit referendum. In addition to initial uncertainty about the new entry and work regulations, stricter visa regulations and "worsening working conditions" in the health system also contributed to the declining numbers.

The study's findings now suggest that the "stagnation in the number of EU doctors" has exacerbated existing shortages in areas where the NHS has not been able "to find enough qualified staff elsewhere". , it said.

The study comes at a time when the troubled NHS is struggling with many grievances after years of underfunding. In addition to the shortage of doctors, carers and nurses, this also includes long waiting times for some hospital treatments due to the corona pandemic.

(This article was first published on Monday, November 28, 2022.)

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