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4 in 10 European doctors working in Britain 'considering leaving because of Brexit'

4 in 10 European doctors working in Britain 'considering leaving because of Brexit'

Four in every 10 European doctors working in Britain are considering leaving the UK following the Brexit vote, a new survey has found.

The British Medical Association (BMA) polled 1,193 doctors from the European Economic Area working in the UK and found 42% are thinking of leaving the country, with a further 23% unsure. Among NHS staff in England, 59,796 are from the European Union, according to NHS Digital, including 10,267 doctors - around 6.6% of the UK medical workforce.

Dr Mark Porter, the BMA's chairman of council, said many doctors from the EU felt "unwelcome and uncertain about whether they and their families will have the right to live and work in the UK after Brexit". He warned that an exodus of European staff could spell "disaster" for the NHS when it is "already at breaking point and facing crippling staff shortages".

European doctors told the BMA they felt "less committed" to working in the UK due to the result of the EU referendum, and said they felt less appreciated by the Government since the vote. Before the referendum, European doctors rated how appreciated they felt by the UK Government at seven out of 10. After the Brexit vote, this dropped to four out of 10.

Dr Porter called on Theresa May to "ensure long-term stability across the healthcare system by providing certainty to medical professionals from the EU about their future in the UK".

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said the NHS should train and hire more British doctors after the country leaves the EU and has pledged to increase the number of medical school places by 25% from 2018.

Source: Independent

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