MEDICINE Doctors deserting Britain

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Doctors are more likely to desert Britain for work abroad now than at any time in the past, a survey showed yesterday.

Researchers from Oxford University asked more than 3,000 doctors who qualified in 1993 whether they intended to practise in the UK. Their responses were compared with those given in earlier studies.

Just 75.5 per cent of 1993 qualifiers definitely or probably intended to work in the UK, compared with 89.2 per cent in 1983. There was a also a large proportion who were "undecided".

Writing in the British Medical Journal the researchers, led by a statistician, Trevor Lambert, said: "The doctors' responses show an increased lack of commitment to a medical career in the United Kingdom which may be an `early warning' of either higher loss or higher disenchantment in the future."