NHS has more foreign doctors than any other major European country, study finds

OECD report also reveals the UK is one of the biggest exporters of doctors to other nations

Peter Apps
Monday 28 December 2015 00:28 GMT
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A doctor at the Accident and Emergency department in Birmingham Queen Elizabeth Hospital
A doctor at the Accident and Emergency department in Birmingham Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Getty)

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Louise Thomas

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More foreign doctors work in Britain’s health service than any other major European country, according to new research.

A study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has revealed 36 per cent of NHS doctors were born overseas.

This is three times as many as Germany and more than any other country in the EU except Luxembourg.

The report, which has not yet been published by the OECD but has been reported by The Daily Telegraph, shows only 5 per cent of doctors in Italy are born overseas and 10 per cent in Germany.

The report also reveals the UK is among the largest employers of foreign nurses – with 21.7 per cent of NHS nurses born abroad. Only Luxembourg, Ireland and Estonia employ more.

Despite this, the OECD report also reveals the UK is one of the biggest exporters of doctors to other nations.

It shows that the UK is the second only to Germany in exporting doctors, with 12,000 British medics practising overseas.

The Government is currently locked in negotiations with the British Medical Association (BMA) about planned changes to the contracts of junior doctors.

The BMA has warned of an increasing exodus of British doctors if the changes are enforced.

The proposed changes triggered a surge in applications to the General Medical Council for certificates of current professional status (CCPS), required to work abroad, when they were announced in September.

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