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Brexit could lead to med-exit in UK

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European-trained doctors are considering leaving the United Kingdom because they don’t feel welcome following the Brexit vote, according to research undertaken by the British Medical Association.

The survey of 1,193 European Economic Area doctors working in the UK revealed about two in five might leave the UK due to the referendum result.

That equates to a possible 12,000 doctors who qualified in the EEA leaving the UK because of Brexit.

With an already struggling National Health Service in Britain and a growing personnel shortage problem in its hospitals, fears have been raised a health care disaster could sweep the nation if so many EEA doctors leave.

The research found European doctors now feel significantly less appreciated by the UK Government than they did before the Brexit vote.

Many feel uncertain about their futures in Britain, with some already making plans to return to their countries of origin.

Among other questions, the survey asked how committed the doctors were to working in the UK. Before the Brexit vote, the average response to that question rated nine out of ten. That has fallen to six out of ten in this latest survey.

On the question of how appreciated they felt working in the UK, the average response has fallen from seven out of ten to less than four out of ten.

On the latest figures, there are 280,932 doctors on the UK medical register, with 30,733 having attained their qualifications in another EEA country.

 The EEA includes all 28 members of the European Union as well as Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

Chris Johnson