A huge amount of doctors are considering moving abroad, within merely a decade of finishing medical school.
The British Medical Association has conducted a survey which suggests that their could be a mass exodus of doctors abroad in the coming years.
A survey of 430 doctors who graduated in 2006, who would now be qualified GPs or doctors progressing through specialty training, indicated that approximately 50% are considering working overseas.
The BMA Cohort Doctor Report has been following a group of graduates since 2006, and discovered that not only are many considering practicing overseas, but also that the proportion is increasing rapidly.
42% of doctors plan to practise overseas, up from 37% last year and 30% in 2014.
Many also expressed the view that their career prospects are considerably less bright than they expected when they were graduated.
The BMA also reports that there has been a general decline in morale among healthcare workers.
It was found that the biggest causes of stress are work-life balance responsibilities, a shortage of doctors and high levels of paperwork.
And the deterioration in perceptions of working atmosphere, working conditions, pace and intensity of work and complexity of work has been consistent across the last four completed surveys.
Commenting on the issue, GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey suggested that the situation is extremely serious and requires direct action from the government.
“Every doctor who leaves to work abroad is the loss of another much needed potential GP and with morale at such a low these survey findings come as no surprise. It’s now urgent for the government to take real steps to listen to and work with junior doctors in order to retain them in the UK and in the NHS”.
BMA’s junior doctors’ committee chair Dr Ellen McCourt, also believes that the negative mood among doctors should be considered a crisis.
“We have been saying for some time that morale amongst doctors is at an all-time low and these figures show, once again, that doctors are on a knife edge. They are reaching their limit, and if stretched any further, they will walk. Given the results of this study, it makes no sense for the Government to rush the implementation of the junior doctor contract, which will only make things worse”.
This BMA report is the tenth, and final one, of the series, but it sets the scene for the NHS of the future.